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The Somersetshire Coal Canal was built in 1794 to transport coal from the North Somerset coalfields as a cheaper means of transporting their coal to the markets in Bath and the surrounding area. Before then the only transport was by pack-horse or horse and cart, over rough terrain. These animals could only cope with limited quantities, which resulted in high prices. At its peak, some 100,000 tons of coal was carried. The coming of the railways made it redundant.