The Earliest Mentions Of A Canal To Whitchurch Are In The Context Of Linking The River Severn And The Mersey. James Brindley Recorded In His Diary In April 1762 That He ‘Set Out For Cheshire And Shropshire Survey Or Raconitoring’; He Specifically Mentioned Visiting Whitchurch. This Was Before The Lines Of The Trent & Mersey And Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canals were Established.
In May 1768 Richard Whitworth published a pamphlet which suggested a canal from the river Dee via Whitchurch and Market Drayton to join his proposed Shrewsbury–Stafford canal near his home at Batchacre Grange (east of Newport).
The Chester Canal was conceived as a canal from the river Dee at Chester to Middlewich, with a branch to Nantwich. It was opened to Nantwich (12 miles from Whitchurch) in 1779; the link to Middlewich was not built until 1833, nor that to Wolverhampton until 1835.