The correct name for the Andover Canal was the Andover to Redbridge Canal.
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The Andover to Redbridge Canal was opened in 1794. The canal route followed the River Anton.
The canal had to be dug out by hand as no mechanical diggers were around in those days. The men used shovels and picks.
The River Test tributary the River Anton provided the water supply for the Andover Canal. It cost £48000 £35000 was raised through shares and £13000 by loan.
The canal was 22 miles long and incorporated 24 locks on its journey to Redbridge. Nine locks between Andover & Stockbridge, eight locks between Romsey & Stockbridge and Seven locks between Redbridge and Romsey. There were two viaducts at Fullerton.
The canal could take barges 65ft long x 8ft 6" wide.
Coal, manure and slate were brought up from Southampton and agricultural goods were taken down to Southampton. The stone used for St.Marys church came up by barge having been shipped from Normandy to Southampton.
Unfortunately the traffic on the canal was insufficient and did not generate enough revenue to pay the dividend. In 1857 the canal company decided to change its name to the Andover Canal & Railway Company as it intended to transform the canal into a broad gauge Railway line to Southampton.