Wollaton Wagonway

Wollaton Wagonway

Wollaton Wagonway

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The Wollaton Wagonway (or Waggonway), built between October 1603 and 1604 in the East Midlands of England by Huntingdon Beaumont in partnership with Sir Percival Willoughby, is currently credited as the world's first overland wagonway and is therefore regarded as a significant step in the development of railways.

The wagonway was the earliest form of railway. Although modern historians are uncertain as to whether it evolved or was invented, it is known that, between the Autumn of 1603 and 1 October 1604, a waggonway (wagonway) had been built near Nottingham. It ran for approximately two miles (3 km) from Strelley to Wollaton to assist the haulage of coal. Earlier examples may have been built, but the Wollaton Wagonway is the earliest surface-level waggonway on record anywhere in the world, and is therefore believed to have been the first. It was built by Huntingdon Beaumont who was the partner of Sir Percival Willoughby, the local land-owner and owner of Wollaton Hall.

The above is from Sir Percival Willoughby's agreement with Huntingdon Beaumont dated 1 October 1604. Sir Percival was Lord of the Manor of Wollaton and Huntingdon Beaumont was the lessee of the Strelley coal pits. They worked the Strelley mines in an equal partnership.

Comparatively little is known of the wagonway. It cost £172 (£ as of ), and ended at Wollaton Lane End, from where most of the coal was taken onwards by road to Trent Bridge and then downstream...
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