Saturday 2 June 2012

James Brindley

James Brindley was born near Buxton in Derbyshire in 1716. He is famous for his canal building and the construction of the first major English canal.
Brindley became an apprentice millwright at the age of seventeen. He quickly established himself as a competent engineer, having improved the performance of the steam engine and draining of the Clifton coal mines.
By the age of twenty six he had founded his own business. His work in constructing mills and with steam engines led him on to work as a canal engineer. After work on the surveying and construction of various canals he became responsible for the construction of the Bridgewater canal which was completed in 1765. This can be considered the beginning of the great age of canals in the United Kingdom.
James Brindley was responsible for a network of canals totalling 375 miles. The importance of the canal network should not be underestimated. The canals allowed coal and manufactured goods to move around the country much more efficiently and more cost effectively. The canals were responsible for speeding up the Industrial Revolution. Brindleyplace in Birmingham is dedicated to his memory and his contribution to the canal network in the city.
James Brindley died in 1772 suffering from diabetes. The cause of his death is also attributed to overwork. This dedicated and innovative pioneer of the canals left his mark on the landscape for centuries to come.

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