The Bridgewater Canal
The Duke appointed James Brindley (1716 - 1772), a millwright, as his consultant engineer, to work with his estate manager John Gilbert (1724-1795). Brindley was poorly educated. He had gained a reputation for finding solutions to problems. He went on to be Britain's most famous canal engineer and to build many miles of canal and long tunnels.
The Bridgewater Canal changed peoples' attitudes to canals, especially politicians, land owners, and industrialists. It demonstrated what was possible. Canals really were a practical idea. For example coal for factories was now easily available in Manchester, whereas before the canal it was expensive and scarce.