John Rennie was a Scottish civil engineer – a young East Lothian farmer’s son – and born in 1761. He made his name designing many bridges, canals and docks.
South of the border he will always be remembered in these parts as the designer of the Kennet and Avon canal which passes through Bath.
The total length of the waterway he created – linking the Avon with the Thames – is 87 miles. The actual canal section – dug out of the earth by thousands of navvies – is 57 miles. The job was done between 1794 and 1810.
Today after restoration – and thanks to an army of volunteers who maintain it – this industrial water motorway is back in use for more recreational purposes.
With this in mind, Bath Newseum was interested to hear about a piece of jewellery that had come into the hands of Alexander Tennant who runs Off The Wall Antiques in St Margaret’s Buildings near the Royal Crescent.
It’s very much connected with the death of this great man – who died after a short illness at his London home in 1821 and was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral.