Tag Archives: sheep

Nothing to do with waterways …

… but I was struck by George Monbiot‘s

[…] we pay billions to service a national obsession with sheep […].

George lives in Wales.

 

Royal Canal traffic in 1844

Royal Canal traffic in 1844 (Salt)

That table is extracted from Samuel Salt’s Statistics and Calculations essentially necessary to persons connected with railways or canals; containing a variety of information not to be found elsewhere 2nd ed Effingham Wilson and Bradshaw & Blacklock, London 1846, available from Messrs Google here.

The interesting point is how little of the Royal’s traffic travelled the whole way from the Shannon to Dublin or vice versa: only about 5% of the Dublin-bound traffic and less than 3% of the traffic westward.

Another point of interest is that traffic to Dublin was three times the traffic from Dublin.

Amongst the livestock, pigs were the dominant animals: they lost too much condition if they were walked long distances, which was the only alternative to canal transport before the railways came. Even there, I suspect that much of the tonnage described as “from Longford and the Shannon” was actually from west of the river, in Counties Mayo and Roscommon.