The Burslem Branch Canal was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1797, designed to increase wharfage for the Middleport and Burslem areas. Construction work was completed in 1805, 30 years after James Brindley completed the adjoining Trent and Mersey Canal.
The canal was linked
to Burslem town centre by a tramway up the hill of Navigation Road. The success of the canal was immediate, paving the way for Burslem to develop a reputation as the home of pottery manufacturing within Stoke-on-Trent:
"Burslem, an ancient town, with a market held for a long period by custom, and subsequently sanctioned by an act of parliament, is about three miles from Newcastle and two from Hanley, entitled to the precedence of other towns in this district, as claiming to be the mother, as it is the metropolis, of the Staffordshire Potteries." 1828 journal