Harald Joergens Photography

Horse Drawn Boat at Marple Image Library

In the "olden days" canal boats were pulled by horses, that's common knowledge. Pulling a boat, a horse can move 40-50 times more weight than by pulling a cart - now that's impressive!

But what was it like, and how did it work? Would it be possible today to have a boat pulled by a horse?

There are a few companies in the UK that offer trips on horse drawn boats: There is Llangollen Wharf in Wales,the Godalming Packetboat Company in Surrey, the Tiverton Canal Co. in Devon, and Bywater Cruises in Shropshire.

The Horseboating Society has a vast amount of useful information on their website. We (French equine photographer Kristel Richard and I) contacted Sue, and had struck gold - Sue was preparing for a trip, with historic wooden butty Maria, up the 16 Marple locks (Lower Peak Forest Canal), from Marple Aqueduct to Marple Junction.

Things got even better - Sue and the team with her were all dressed in the "right" outfit for the occasion.

The 100 photos in this library are a small selection of the images taken during the day.


All the photos are available for licensing, as digital copies, and as fine art prints.
Only a fraction of the photos is shown on the website. Please ask for more.