When the Rivers Aire and Calder were made navigable to Leeds and Wakefield about 1702, both towns became thriving inland ports. The body responsible for the necessary dredging, construction of locks, etc, was the Aire and Calder Navigation. Here, at what was the head of the navigable waterway in Wakefield, the company built its offices and boardroom. Until the coming of railways, the company saw vast traffic on its waterways and made immense profits for its shareholders, at one time paying a dividend of 200%. As the navigable route from Wakefield was extended westwards by the Calder and Hebble Navigation, traffic became even more extensive.