At the start of the 18th Century, the roads which headed north or south from Sheffield were difficult as were the tracks over the Pennines to the west except during good weather. The benefit of water transport especially for bulky goods led to pressure for the a scheme to make the Don navigable into Sheffield.
The scheme was initially opposed by the Duke of Norfolk but eventually it was agreed to develop the Don navigation from the east as far as Tinsley with an improved road from there into Sheffield. This scheme was completed in 1751.
Eventually, a canal link from Tinsley to Sheffield was proposed and its construction was completed in 1819, bringing water transport into the town to a canal wharf (now called Victoria Quays) close to the junction of the Sheaf and Don.