from Somerset, Devon and Dorset


© Andrew Templer 2024

Contact Us Families Home Remembrance Photos Books Research Places & Events Coat of Arms Site Map Contact us

Stover Canal and Granite Railway

The Stover Canal was built by James Templer II (1748-1813) between 1790 and 1792 so as to transport clay between Teignbridge and Teignmouth. Later it was extended to Ventiford beyond Teigngrace. The clay was shipped out to the Staffordshire potteries. Certainly the Templer family had contacts with Josiah Wedgewood of pottery fame, so it likely that the clay was transported to the Staffordshireshire potteries.

Originally, the clay had to be loaded on to pack horses and transferred to barges where the River Teign first became navigatable, but this was very inefficient. James Templer II of Stover had the Stover Canal built. These used barges that were either horse drawn or used square sails, rather like viking ships.

Later James’s son wanted to export granite from his quarries at Haytor. Railways at that time were in their infancy and rather than use expensive cast iron rails, tracks were made from the local granite using flaneways similar to the tracks used by Richard Trevithick allowing horse drawn carriages to move relatively freely on the tracks. The blocks of granite were then transferred to canal boats and then out to sea, where it was used in many London buildings, such as the British Museum and the National Gallery as well as the London Bridge (1831-1967 - now in Long Beach, Arizona).

There is now a walk that tries to follow the route of the tramway and canal that is call the “Templer Way”

Stover Canal Wiki - Stover Canal Wiki - Haytor Granite Tramway Wiki - Haytor Clay & Canal Books

To close any picture press Alt + Left Arrow