The Shrewsbury Canal connected Shrewsbury to the Wombridge Canal, and provided a way to supply the people of Shrewsbury with coal at reasonable prices. The route between Shrewsbury and Wappenshall was relatively flat, although beyond Wappenshall, nine locks and a large inclined plane were needed to reach the Wombridge Canal. There were two more locks before Wappenshall. The valleys of the River Tern and the River Roden were crossed by aqueducts, that at Longdon-on-Tern being, in Thomas Telford's opinion, the first aqueduct made of cast iron, although Benjamin Outram's iron aqueduct on the Derby Canal actually opened a month earlier. The other major obstacle to a level canal was a bluff of land near a large bend in the River Severn just to the east of Shrewsbury. A route closer to the river might have been possible and would have avoided a tunnel if a large landscaped park had not been created there in 1786, to the design of Humphry Repton.
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