Liskeard and Looe Union Canal

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Coordinates: 50°23′46″N 4°28′23″W / 50.396°N 4.473°W / 50.396; -4.473 The Liskeard and Looe Union Canal is a derelict broad canal between Liskeard and Looe in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The canal is almost 6 miles (10 km) long and has 25 locks. The Engineer was Robert Coad. Traffic on the canal ceased around 1910.



Planning of the canal began in the 1770s but it was not until 1825 that the necessary Act of Parliament was obtained. The canal opened for traffic in 1828, running from Terras Pill, near Looe, to Moorswater, near Liskeard.

Initially the southbound traffic was mainly agricultural produce while the northbound traffic included fertilizer, lime and coal.

In the 1840s the growth of mining on Caradon Hill, north of Moorswater, led to increased southbound mineral traffic.

The ores, mostly of copper, tin and lead were brought from Caradon Hill to Moorswater by packhorse and then loaded on to barges.


The use of packhorses was difficult and costly so, in 1843, an Act of Parliament was obtained to authorise the construction of the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, running from Moorswater to the mines on Caradon Hill.

With continued growth in mineral traffic the canal became unable to cope and, in 1858, a further Act of Parliament was obtained to authorise the construction of the Liskeard and Looe Railway which connected with the Liskeard and Caradon Railway at Moorswater.

The Liskeard and Caradon Railway closed in 1917 but the Liskeard and Looe Railway still operates under the title Looe Valley Line.

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