James Brindley

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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The engineer James Brindley began business as a repairer of old machinery at Leek, Staffordshire, in 1742. Commissioned by the Duke of Bridgewater to build the Worsley canal in 1759, he subsequently constructed about 350 miles of canals, including the 'Bridgewater' linking Manchester to Liverpool and the 'Grand Trunk' linking Manchester to the Potteries.
Brindley is shown with his level and a view of the celebrated Barton Aqueduct which carried the Worsley canal over the River Irwell near Manchester.

National Portrait Gallery, London



James Brindley




oil on canvas


H 130.2 x W 99.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1992

Work type



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