Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Narrowboats on Canals

Narrowboats on Canals
The preserved steam narrowboat "President" halfway down Foxton locks © Mike Beech, Foxton Inclined Plane Trust www.fipt.org.uk

The vision of brightly painted boats sailing on England's canals on a fine summer's day is a sight to lift the spirits. Narrowboats came into being during the establishment of the country's canal system in the 18th century. They were designed to be nearly the same dimensions as the lock gates they had to pass through along the waterways.

Like the structural use of iron, inland waterways were one of the motors of the industrial revolution, making the transport of fuel and goods much faster and easier than it was when everything had to stumble along bumpy roads. Come for a ride with us along the canal, and meet a third-generation Gloucestershire bridge-keeper.

About this icon



I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye