The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal, next to which Moira Furnace stands, is a 31-mile (50 km) long canal in England which connected the mining district around Moira, just outside the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, with the Coventry Canal at Bedworth in Warwickshire. It was opened in 1804, and a number of tramways were constructed at its northern end, to service collieries. The canal was taken over by the Midland Railway in 1846, but remained profitable until the 1890s, after which it steadily declined. Around 9 miles (14 km) passed through the Leicestershire coal field, and was heavily affected by subsidence, with the result that this section from Moira, southwards to Snarestone, was progressively closed in 1944, 1957 and 1966, leaving 22 miles (35 km) of navigable canal.
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