The End of Operations
In July 1891 the majority of the canal was officially abandoned because of the loss of trade. Ironically, the Barge Section of the Canal had enjoyed a brief period of prosperity carrying the materials for the extension of the railway to Bude which opened in 1898.
Eventually the Stratton and Bude Improvement Act of 17th April 1901 allowed the main section of the canal between Tamar Lake and Bude to be taken over by the Stratton & Bude Urban District Council and used to carry water supplies to Bude. The council constructed filter beds at Venn, near the top of the Vealand Incline and pipes were laid to carry water to the Bude & Stratton area. The fortunate consequence of this was to keep the line of this branch of the Canal, from Tamar Lake to Burmsdon, in a single ownership. This is now known as the “Bude Aqueduct”.
The lowest 2 mile length at Bude, the “barge canal” section, was retained by the Local Council for public use and is now owned by Cornwall Council, but the remaining sections of the Canal including the Holsworthy and Launceston branches, were sold back to the successors of the previous landowners, from whom the Canal Company had originally purchased the land.