This signpost in Stone alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal proudly proclaims that the town is the birthplace of the canal. The canal scheme was known as the Grand Trunk Canal and was an ambitious scheme to link the two great rivers the Trent and Mersey. The first meeting of the Grand Trunk Canal Company was held in Stone. Josiah Wedgewood saw the potential in transporting raw materials and finished goods from his factories in the Potteries and backed the scheme becoming its treasurer, James Brindley was appointed as the canal's surveyor and engineer.
Work began on the canal in 1766 and by 1772 the stretch from Wilden Ferry to Stone was navigable which is where the canal company had its first headquarters. The canal transformed Stone from a quiet town to a busy inland port.