The Trent & Mersey Canal, constructed in 1777 cuts through the eastern partof the town centre, whilst the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, opened in 1829 cuts through the southern part of the town, linking up with the Trent & Mersey via Britain’s shortest canal, the Wardle Branch which was opened in September 1833.

From the latter part of the 18th century to the latter part of the 20th century Middlewich was a significant junction for canal traffic, especially as the town was built on the wealth from the salt and dairy industries. The three canals link the town with local, regional and world markets. Canals at this time were considered good long-term investments and attracted a number of important industrialists of the day to put their money into these remarkable enterprises.