The canal represented in this King's Topographical Collection map was never built. It was designed by James Brindley, the engineer responsible for the Bridgewater Canal, with Robert Whitworth’s assistance. The survey and the map were commissioned by the leading coal merchants of Darlington and the surrounding district, who wished to have a canal built from the Auckland coalfield to the navigable River Tees at Stockton. Brindley and Whitworth submitted their report, with a recommendation to build the canal from Winston to Stockton-on-Tees, in 1769 and the map was published in 1770. But the scheme collapsed due to the low density of population in this area and, therefore, of a sufficiently large market for the goods transported. After a few unsuccessful attempts at reviving Brindley and Whitworth’s plans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century, they became the basis for the early famous Stockton and Darlington Railway in the 1820s.