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Canalware (narrowboat or canal folk art)

During the latter half of the 18th Century, canals were built around the industrial centres of England.  These canals were originally quite short and were used to transport coal and goods on horse-pulled barges or narrowboats.

The expansion of the canal network in the early 19th Century required longer journeys and therefore for the boatmen spend more time away from home and to require more help, so the narrowboats became floating homes for the boatmen and their families.

Narrowboats were generally quite dull places to live in, with the habitable area being only about 2 x 2.5 metres in size.  To brighten them up a bit, people started painting their boats and everything inside.

At about the same time as the "Arts and Crafts Movement" originated, the narrowboats were decorated with images usually comprising of castles and roses, hence the term "Roses and Castles Movement".

Nowadays, canalware is available both hand-painted and transfer-printed, with the former becomming highly collectable.
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