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mica. Above this micacious clay, there is a thick stratum of yellow loamy clay, or brick earth. This thick stratum of yellow clay is succeeded by two layers, one about a yard above the other, of large and curious ludus helmantii, or clay-ball, very compact, containing but few septana, and those mostly close filled with wax-coloured spar; but, on the sides of some of these sparry joints, but partly filled, pointed and small crystals were so thickly and uniformly set all over the surface, as to give the appearance of a rich piece of velvet. About five or six feet of a reddish crumbling clay succeeds upon these layers of ludus helmanti, and this forms the surface of the land for many miles southward, as appears by the cutting of the canal, all the way from Brockley Green to the town of Sydenham; for, although at this part, from being now filled with water, and in use, the clay-balls cannot be seen in the bottom of the canal, yet the new-made bricks are all the way scattered with their fragments, and sufficiently prove their regularity and coutinuance.
This canal is intended for conveying bricks, timber, and other materials for the works, from within a few miles of the town of Croydon, to Brockley Green. On Sydenham Common, near the London road, is a new reservoir, whose head has lately been made up so as to contain ten or fifteen acres extent of water, which is brought by a ditch or carriage out of the adjoining valley, that crosses the road to town. After passing Sydenham Common, on the bank of the canal, towards Deptford, the same enters a large wood, and passes it for near three quarters of a mile, presenting the most rich and delightful scenery, with fine views, at intervals of the new and elegant houses on Forest Hill, that rise directly up from the canal. Several of the paddocks belonging to these houses, are now extended down to the canal; and fancy boat-houses and pleasure-houses have been built on its banks, so as to render a walk along it truly delightful. At the termination of this wood, is a curious lock, that can be used as a double fall or a single one, according as the supply of water, or expedition of the trade, may render most advisable ;
it consists of two locks, so joined together, that the middle gates, which are of great height, answer for both of the locks. After descending several locks of the common construction, but well built and exceedingly water-tight, we arrive at the present termination of the water, near Brockley Green; then, in descending the hill, several locks and lengths of the canal are nearly finished, and other locks
further on, are in every stage of their progress, from the ** laying of the foundations, to the completion of the walls ; a sight truly gratifying to any one who is curious in works of this sort. The canal is in less forwardness, during the remainder of the descent of the hill, from Brockley; at the bottom of this, and forwards, to near the top of PlowGarlick Hill, the canal is nearly finished. On the top of this hill, the canal is to be cut a great depth, a part only of which is yet performed. Descending towards the Greenwich road, several other locks are in hand, some of the foundations of which are just laid, and others have their walls almost built; the deep cutting, and immense banks of clay which have been wheeled out on the slope of this hill, have a very singular appearance.
The Croydon canal, is intended to enter the Grand Surrey canal, about a mile below the Greenwich road, and from that place, to. Wilkinson's gun wharf at Rotherhithe, where it will join the river Thames. This canal is nearly completed, and ready for filling, having two very large bridges over it: but the other way, towards Vauxhall Creek, by Cumberland Gardens, where it is intended to connect again with the Thames, the works seem at a total stand. For about three quarters of a mile west of Peckham Gap, where it is to cross the Greenwich road, this canal was begun, and seemed very fast proveeding, about the year. 1803, but since that period, not the least progress is to be discerned in the digging.
The completion of this canal would, doubtless, prove of the usmost advantage to this low and neglected environ of the metropolis; but it is not so clear that the trade thereon
will be sufficient to make an immediate return to the proprietors of the canal; though, ultimately, this will certainly be the case, when the lands between Peckham and the river Thames are improved, and more built upon, as must happen in a few years after it is completed, from the facility which it will give to trade.
The navigation by the river Lea, and the cut denominated Bow Creek, will be mentioned under Limehouse parish.
When Guthrie compiled his Commercial Grammar, he stated that the city contained 150,000 dwelling houses, and that the annual consumption of provision was as follows: Black cattle
98,244 Sheep and lambs
52,000 Poultry and wild fowl, innumerable. Mackarel sold at Billingsgate
1,740,000 Oysters, in bushels
115,536 Small boats of cod, haddock, whiting, &c.
over and above those brought by land car-
1,398 Butter, in pounds weight, about
16,000,000 Cheese, ditto, about
20,000,000 Gallons of milk
7,000,000 Strong beer, in barrels
1,172,194 Small ditto, ditto
798,495 Foreign wines, in tuns
3,044 Gallons of rum, brandy, and other distilled waters, above
11,000,000 Candles, by pound weight, above
11,000,000 In the consumption of these articles, the city must evidently feel a considerable benefit from the cheapening of conveyance, which inland canals must contribute to reduce: and from the greater abundance of them which a circular canal would admit, to aid the former supplies of every
markei throughout the suburbs. “ But," continues Mr. Tatham, “ there are advantages accruing to household accommodation, which we venture to particularize more immediately.
“ The approach of canals must tend to supply the markets with new resources from many parts of the country, which a dependance on land-carriage has hitherto precluded alto, gether, and to increase the quantity from those places which have been accustomed to furnish supplies by means of animal strength.
2. By constructing the canal with valves, or cocks, for discharging the surplus depth of water in the time of land floods, the drier soils may be irrigated and refreshed; while those in a watery condition may be drained by the canal: in both instances the state of culture will be improved, and the markets stocked with proportionate vegetables; and also to guard by this means against fire, is, however, a common concern.
“ The inhabitants of the metropolis are already estimated at one million; and it is not to be understood, or perhaps to be wished, that the proposed canals should have an imme. diate tendency to increase them.
“ But the healthiness of the city will partake of advantages in the following considerations :
“ 1. By relieving the crowded parts of the town, and the avoidance of filth.
“ 2. By a more free communication of air through the heretofore stified and lumbered.
“ 3. By the circulation of water, and its inseparable current of air, round the canal.
“ 4. By an additional supply of water, for the purpose of cleansing the streets and sewers, independent of the preexisting culinary water-works.
" 5. By a more ample drainage and frequent irrigation of the surrounding country; through which means a more regular atmosphere will be obtained.
" 6. By the introduction of pleasure-boats, for the airing and amusement of the citizens. VOL. II. No. 31,
« 7. By
« 7. By the construction of fountains of pleasure, with filtrating and ventilating powers.
" 8. By the extension of shady walks, fitting for pedestrian excursions upon the banks of the canal.
“ The promotion of health is so obvious a result, from the particulars enumerated, that it would be futile to dwell
“ There are two plans for ways and means, which I beg leave to suggest : the first is, that which was adopted by the city of London, in regard to the towing path from Putney to Staines, and which was proposed by Mr. Sharp for the Maryla-Bonne and Waltham Abbey canals; so that all might remain a free navigation after the money loaned was refunded by a moderate toll. The other is to undertake the business at national charge; either making it a free operation, so that the national resources may become strengthened through its encouragements to popular. industry; or appropriating a moderate toll to the aid of the revenue, subject to the future discretion of parliament, and the preference to be governed by the choice of those in authority.”
Mr. Tatham proceeds to state, that five hundred hands would complete the insulation in one year; and adds by way of conclusion, “ that London can set hands to work or let it alone at pleasure, without incurring the intermediate waste of time and expence; London can supply hands ready on the spot, while other canals have them to collect together from distant parts of the country; London can accommodate them near their work, while others lose their time in going off and on; London can supply any number of hands, while others are restrained by limited circumstances: but, London can do still more ; for she has the first example, perhaps, in history, where a circular canal of twenty miles extent, round so populous a city, afforded the means of economy, by working small parties on such an extensive space; yet, nevertheless, compactly under effectual superintendance, control, and command.”