Sedgwick aqueduct


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007095

Date first listed: 10-Feb-1978


Ordnance survey map of Sedgwick aqueduct
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Sedgwick

National Grid Reference: SD 51337 87018


Sedgwick Aqueduct, 330m east of Sedgwick House.

Reasons for Designation

Canals are artificial waterways constructed primarily for navigation purposes and as such they differ from river navigations which were improvements to existing waterways to make them easier to navigate. Although the advantages of canals and inland waterways had long been recognised in Europe as an inexpensive means of transporting heavy and bulky goods and the safest way of carrying fragile ones, the golden age of canal building in England only began in 1759 with the construction of the Bridgewater Canal from Worsley to Manchester. Constructed by James Brindley and opened in 1761, the Bridgewater Canal carried coal from the Duke of Bridgewater's mines at Worsley, 7 miles (about 11km) to Manchester at less than half the cost of the traditional packhorse method. Over the next 70 years canals played an important part in the growth of industry and the expansion of trade in many parts of the country; in particular in the cotton, woollen, mining and engineering industries of Lancashire and West Yorkshire, in the growth of the Staffordshire pottery industry with its new water connection to the River Mersey and the port of Liverpool, and in the huge industrial expansion of Birmingham which, as the hub of the inland waterways system, rose to become England's second most prosperous city. Additionally canals also facilitated the relatively rapid movement of bulk agricultural produce from the countryside to the rapidly expanding industrial towns of the North and Midlands. Canal construction also brought with it the requirement for a whole range of associated structures. Many of these, such as bridges, canal worker's houses, warehouses, wet docks, dry docks, locks and water management systems involved the modification and development of the existing designs of such structures to meet the new requirements of the canal age. Additionally the canal age also introduced the need for major technological innovation in, amongst other things, the construction of tunnels and aqueducts, and the development of inclined planes and boat lifts. The great age of canals lasted until about the 1840s, after which the huge expansion in railways and their subsequent quick and cheap transportation of people and goods led to the rapid demise of canal usage. During their relatively brief lifespan of construction and heavy usage canals became the most important method of industrial transportation and provided a major contribution to the rise of the Industrial Revolution in England. The surviving remnants of the early industrial waterways transport network are particularly important both by virtue of their rarity and representivity.

Sedgwick Aqueduct 330m east of Sedgwick House is well-preserved and is representative of its period. The monument is one of a number of fine aqueducts along the route of the Lancaster Canal. The remains provide insight into the crucial role of waterborne transport during the Industrial Revolution.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 March 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of an aqueduct of 19th century date, which carried the Lancaster Canal over a road in Sedgwick. The aqueduct is located at the northern end of the Lancaster Canal and is constructed from dressed limestone with a single skewed segmental arch flanked by rusticated tapering and curved pilasters. Both facades of the arch are curved and the west fa├žade incorporates a stairway into its northern curve. The aqueduct is topped by a parapet with a projecting ledge that echoes the shape of the facades below and there is a blank panel above the arch. The aqueduct was constructed by John Fletcher in 1818 and was in use until 1955. The monument is a listed building Grade II.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: CU 490

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:- 1036091

End of official listing