The Radio Times logo

Building Britain's Canals

  • Season 1
  • 3 episodes
  • Documentary
  • Science
Advertisement

Episode 1: Grand Union Canal

Summary

Dan Jones examines Britain's most iconic canals, beginning with the 152-mile Grand Union Canal, which runs up the spine of the country. Constructed at the height of the Industrial Revolution, the task challenged even the greatest engineering minds of the time, including pioneers such as James Brindley, the man behind Britain's first commercial canal, and William Jessop, the person with whom responsibility lay for the building of the main link from Birmingham to London. Travelling along its route, Dan experiences first-hand the innovations behind its construction, including the Blisworth tunnel.

Review

Historian Dan Jones tells the story of how artificial waterways changed the landscape of Britain during the industrial revolution. It’s hardly a new stretch of history for TV to navigate, but still fascinating. Partly it’s all those Georgian and Victorian pioneers attempting to do things with engineering that had never been done before – and sometimes failing dismally. The tale of the miscalculations and disasters at one tunnel is staggering, not least because they cost around 60 lives.

Explanations of “contouring”, “puddling” and “legging it” help enliven the story of how the Grand Union Canal came to link Birmingham to London – eventually.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterDan Jones

Crew

rolename
DirectorSteve Bonser
Executive producerJeff Anderson
ProducerSteve Bonser
Series producerGraham Cooper

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    Grand Union Canal

    Summary

    Dan Jones examines Britain's most iconic canals, beginning with the 152-mile Grand Union Canal, which runs up the spine of the country. Constructed at the height of the Industrial Revolution, the task challenged even the greatest engineering minds of the time, including pioneers such as James Brindley, the man behind Britain's first commercial canal, and William Jessop, the person with whom responsibility lay for the building of the main link from Birmingham to London. Travelling along its route, Dan experiences first-hand the innovations behind its construction, including the Blisworth tunnel.

    Review

    Historian Dan Jones tells the story of how artificial waterways changed the landscape of Britain during the industrial revolution. It’s hardly a new stretch of history for TV to navigate, but still fascinating. Partly it’s all those Georgian and Victorian pioneers attempting to do things with engineering that had never been done before – and sometimes failing dismally. The tale of the miscalculations and disasters at one tunnel is staggering, not least because they cost around 60 lives.

    Explanations of “contouring”, “puddling” and “legging it” help enliven the story of how the Grand Union Canal came to link Birmingham to London – eventually.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterDan Jones

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorSteve Bonser
    Executive producerJeff Anderson
    ProducerSteve Bonser
    Series producerGraham Cooper
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content