Plan of the intended navigable canal from the Coventry Canal near Coventry to Oxford


Robert Whitworth was the most famous of the large staff of assistants that learned their trade and worked under the supervision of James Brindley, the main engineer of the Bridgewater Canal. The Oxford Canal, opened in sections between 1774 and 1790, was planned by Brindley but built mainly under Whitworth’s directions after Brindley’s death in 1772. Designed to bring coal from the Coventry coal mines to Oxford and the River Thames, the Oxford Canal is an example of the Duke of Bridgewater’s belief that ‘every canal must have coals at the heel of it’. This map in the King's Topographical Collection shows a typical example of the contour-hugging canals preferred by Brindley. 

Full title:
A Plan of the intended navigable Canal from the Coventry Canal near Coventry to Oxford, surveyed in 1768: drawn by R. Whitworth. I. Cole, sculp. Oxon.
Map / Engraving / Hand colouring
Robert Whitworth
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Maps K.Top.6.37.

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Mapping Europe’s waterways in George III’s Topographical Collection

Article by:
Mercedes Cerón
Country, Town and city, Science and nature

George III’s Topographical Collection includes maps and views representative of ‘Canal Mania’: the intense spate of canal-building which took place in the late 18th-century Britain. Mercedes Ceron explores further.