Between 1618 and 1620, Sir Richard Weston carried out the first improvements to the River Wey on his own land. An Act of Parliament in 1651 opened the navigable River Wey to Guildford. This was extended to Golalming in 1760 and, in 1796, the Basingstoke Canal brought extra traffic. Yet, despite the completion of the Wey and Arun Canal in 1816, trade was poor and the Wey became neglected. In 1912, the river was purchased by William Stevens and in 1964 his son gave it to the National Trust.