The Monkland Canal
was a 12.25-mile (19.6 km) canal which connected the coal mining areas of Monklands
in Scotland. It was opened in 1794, and included a steam-powered inclined plane
at Blackhill. It was abandoned for navigation in 1942, but its culverted remains still supply water to the Forth and Clyde Canal
. Much of it now lies beneath the course of the M8 motorway
, but two watered sections remain, and are well-stocked with fish.
The Monkland Canal was conceived in 1769 by tobacco merchants and other entrepreneurs as a way of bringing cheap coal into Glasgow from the coalfields of the Monklands area. The plan was adopted by the City of Glasgow, an Act of Parliament
was obtained, and the earliest phases of surveying the route and its construction were supervised by James Watt
, with work beginning on 26 June 1770 at Sheepford
. Financial difficulties brought the project to a halt after about two years, and it was not until 1789 that construction restarted, under the direction of the Monklands landowner Andrew Stirling. He negotiated with the Forth and Clyde Canal
Company, which resulted in a new Act of Parliament to authorise the joining of the two canals near Port Dundas
and the extension the canal to Calderbank in the east. The junction with the Forth and Clyde Canal was made in 1791, and the whole canal was completed in 1794. Water supply was from the......