In terms of canal construction the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal is a late enterprise, opening in 1829; although it was one of the first branches of the Canal system to be conceived. The initial concept in constructing such a branch was to link the two main arterial canal networks – the Shropshire Union and The Trent & Mersey Canals. Furthermore, it was hoped that it would open trade with the industries in North Wales. Prior to finalising the route, a plan to construct a canal between Chester and Middlewich was conceived as far back as 1772 when the Chester Canal Company wished to take advantage of the lucrative salt and pottery trades.
Notice all the black blocks? These represent buildings; the main areas shown are Lewin Street, High Town, Lower Street and Wheelock Street, mostly businesses according to the census returns.