Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Broharris Canal.

When I was checking W.A. McCutcheon's book, "The Industrial Archaeology of Northern Ireland," for detail on the Strabane Canal I came upon a few paragraphs on what was referred to as the Broharris Canal. I had heard of this navigation but knew nothing about it save for its approximate location. It was some two miles in length and ran in a south easterly direction from Ballymacran Point. It was constructed during the 1820's at a cost of £4,500. McCutcheon relates that certain heavy and bulky foodstuffs and raw materials were trafficked along the canal but that it was mainly used to bring ashore shellfish and kelp from the shallows of Lough Foyle. The kelp was employed extensively as a fertiliser on the slob lands of Myroe and the surrounding area. I suspect that the cut must have been contiguous to the Burnfoot River.

Not long after the construction of the Broharris Canal there was a proposal to construct a separate canal which would have been some 3 miles and 10 chains in length and would have ran from Ballymacran Point to a basin in the townland of Shanreagh about a mile from the then boundaries of Limavady. It was envisaged that two locks would have been required and that the canal would have had a bottom width of twenty feet and a top width of thirty five and a depth of five feet. A John Killaly carried out a survey and he estimated that construction costs would be some £12,155. Nothing came of this proposal.

Sources: W. A. McCutcheon - "The Industrial Archaeology of Northern Ireland."

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