Wharves were widely run by Canal & Navigation Companies, however; a wharf was public owned and could be used by any carrying company. Wharves in Middlewich were also owned or leased by factories, run by trade merchants dealing in coal, bricks, timber, corn, hay and straw.
The number of wharves and associated buildings along this stretch of the Trent & Mersey Canal suggests that Middlewich was an important ‘port’ and trading place; three canals converge within the southern part of the town. The better known site was Middlewich Wharf or Bridge Wharf; there was also Canal Wharf or Canal Terrace, Malpas Wharf at the back of the Navigation Inn and St Anne’s Wharf, with others being located at trade sites. Over the years these areas changed function, became disused and renamed, so why were these Wharves important?
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Suppliers of references:
The Canal Boatmen 1760-1914, Harry Hanson 1975
Memoirs of a working boatman in the early 1950’s, Tom Foxton 1988
Trent and Mersey Canal by Jean Lindsay 1979
Illustrated History of Canal & River Navigations, Edward Pager Tomlinson
Ellesmere Port Boat Museum Archives
Chester Record Office
The Waterways Trust