The Duke's canal on 17th July 1761 the first coal barges passed over the Duke's Canal from his collieries at Worsley into the town of Manchester, thereby halving the price of coal. The ten‐mile long canal had been made by James Brindley during the preceding two years, Brindley having been engaged to do the work by the young Duke of Bridge‐water. The Duke had made the Grand Tour and in the course of it had admired the Grand Canal de Languedoc in France, the earliest canal of importance in the modern period. Constructed between 1666 and 1681 it joined the Atlantic to the Mediterranean by way of the Garonne. It was the wonder of the age, and Voltaire considered it the greatest monument of the reign of Louis XIV. The canal part was 158 miles long, including 63 locks.
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