Thought to be one of the oldest pubs in Buckingham, The Ship Inn changed its name to The Grand Junction Canal Inn in 1802. The name was chosen to celebrate its rebuilding and the Grand Union Canal nearby – Wharf House and Wharf Yard just down the road mark the end of the canal in Buckingham.
The canal caused an entirely unexpected and smelly scandal – the local Council had kept ownership of the final stretch of the canal while the route was being planned. After a while, the Canal company realised that this section seemed to silt up a lot, with regular teams having to be employed to clear it out with shovels.
“It must have been a nauseating job, and for sometime the Town’s people must have suffered a dreadful stench. It appears the Council has sneakily arranged for all the Town’s sewage to be discharged into the their part of the canal – in the hope that it would be swept or dragged beyond their responsibility.”Alan Percy Walker’s Buckingham Sketchbook
After a several court cases the Council was made to clear up the waste!
The canal linked Buckingham to Cosgrove, bringing coal, slate and other merchandise to the town. In the 1860s, the railway station had largely taken over, and Henry Thorpe used the Wharf to create a successful Artificial Manure Manufactory.