BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 6667

Building the UK's first canal

Building the UK's first canal
Key Info
  • Building the UK's first canal
  • Duration: 04:17
  • A description of why, where and how the UK's first canal was built, to move coal from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland to the coast. Most heavy goods today are moved by container lorries along motorways or by train. In the past, people in County Tyrone needed to find a way to move coal to the coast, for transportation by sea to Dublin. Initially, horses pulled coal carts from Coalisland to Newry and could take one ton at a time. When the coal was transported by water, a horse could pull 70 tonnes. The route from Tyrone to the coast was geographically quite level so a canal was built by 'navvies', men who were working on a 'navigation'. A barge from Lough Neagh to Newry could take two days as there were 14 locks to negotiate.
  • Subject:




  • Keywords: canal, coal, black gold, haulage, cargo, transport, transportation, navvy, lock, barge, river, Northern Ireland
Ideas for use in class
  • Use this to inform a project on the mapping of key places and routes mentioned, the reason for the work being carried out, and where the water came from to fill the canal.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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