Raising the Royal

I have remarked before that …

Ewan Duffy of IndustrialHeritageIreland and I have both, in recent times, uncovered new information about the history of the Royal Canal after it was taken over by the Midland Great Western Railway in 1845: a period that, because (I think) of the absence of company archives, is not well covered in published histories of the Royal.

Ewan has now published a splendid piece of research showing that the Dublin end of the Royal Canal, from Newcomen Bridge (Lock 1) to Cross Guns Bridge (Lock 5), was extensively rebuilt during the second half of the nineteenth century. This is, as far as I know, entirely new information. It gains further interest from the interaction between different concerns — canal, railway, tramway, drainage — all contending for the same small space in Dublin.

I have no doubt that there is yet more to be discovered about the Royal’s lost century.

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