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This plan covers part of the English Midland plateau. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal is depicted down the left side. Opened for traffic in May 1772, the canal was built by engineer James Brindley as part of his 'Grand Cross', a far-sighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn. Work on a second waterway, the Birmingham Canal, started a year later to facilitate the transport of coal from the pits of the Black Country to Birmingham. The Industrial Revolution saw over 180 miles of canals and 216 locks built. Part of this network is visible on the plan highlighted in blue.
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This plan covers East Shropshire and part of Staffordshire, with the River Severn Valley depicted down the left side of the sheet. Here, in its middle course, the river becomes deeper and wider, forming a floodplain in which crops such as wheat and barley are grown. Down the right side of the plan is a section of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, built by the canal engineer, James Brindley as part of his 'Grand Cross', a farsighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn. The canal opened in May 1772. Ironbridge on the Severn at the top left of the plan is said to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This tiny town gave the world its first iron bridge in 1779.