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Yorkshire Ring
Aldwarke Lock on the River Don was enlarged to take 700-tonne Eurobarges in 1983.
Locks 48
Status incomplete
Navigation authority British Waterways

The Yorkshire Ring is a canal ring in South and West Yorkshire, England. It was completed in 1905 with the construction of the New Junction Canal. It lasted for under thirty years before the closure of part of the Dearne and Dove Canal and subsequently the complete Barnsley Canal. Both these canals are currently under restoration.

Canal Rings

The concept of a canal ring was created in 1965, as part of a campaign by the Inland Waterways Association to prevent the complete closure of the Rochdale Canal. Initially the canal was described as part of the "Cheshire Canal Ring", which was soon shortened to the "Cheshire Ring". It described a series of interconnecting canals which could be navigated, usually in a week or two, without having to cover any section twice, and has subsequently been applied to several other such routes.

The Yorkshire Ring is the result of a similar campaign. The Barnsley Canal Group was formed in 1984, initially with the intention of attempting to secure the restoration of the Barnsley Canal from the Aire and Calder Navigation near Wakefield to the town of Barnsley. As the group developed, the attraction of the canal being part of a through route came to be appreciated, and in 1986 they considered whether the Dearne and Dove Canal could also be restored. There were extra problems with restoring this canal, because significant parts of it had been destroyed by development since its closure, but the Great Central Railway line from Mexborough to Barnsley was abandoned at around this time, and offered a route for the construction of new sections of the canal to replace those that could not be restored. Thus the idea of restoring both waterways, and the idea of the Yorkshire Ring as a way of promoting this was born.


The possibility of a complete ring is realised when the Barnsley Canal and the Dearne & Dove Canal are both authorised by Acts of Parliament passed on the same day.
The Dearne and Dove Canal is completed, five years after the Barnsley Canal. Only a short section of the ring remains to be constructed between the Stainforth and Keadby Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation.
The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Company is created, and eventually succeeds in taking over control of the River Don Navigation, Stainforth and Keadby Canal, Dearne and Dove Canal and the Sheffield Canal from the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company in 1895.
The Aire and Calder Canal company obtain an Act of Parliament to authorise construction of the New Junction Canal. However, the project was to be jointly funded and owned by the newly formed Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, and could not start until they had obtained their waterways from the railway company. The construction did not therefore start until after 1 March 1895.
The New Junction Canal is completed thus also completing the Yorkshire Ring.
The ring is broken again by the closure of the central section of the Dearne and Dove Canal, as a result of problems caused by mining subsidence.
The Barnsley Canal is officially closed
The Dearne and Dove Canal is also closed
There is possibility of the complete ring being resurrected by the Barnsley Canal Group which has been formed with the intention of restoring the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals.

Points of interest

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