Great Britain » Manchester, Bolton & Burry Canal | England

A small waterway north of Manchester

Manchester, Bolton & Burry Canal | England: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 20.5 km
Number of locks: 17
Lock dimensions: 20.70 x 4.30
Max. depth: 1.00
Max. headroom: 2.70
Degree of difficulty: For beginners (few locks)
Requirements: no rating
Character of waterway: with urban surroundings, Waterway in reclusion
Profile of waterway: Not navigable all through
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

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Waterway has access to:

Manchester Ship Canal | England

Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal
Southeast of Bolton the side arm to Bury joins and at Manchester, the canal flows into the River Irwell.
In 1936 the bursting of a dam stopped navigation on it. At the moment it is only partially navigable; it is however being restored and it should open again in the next few years.

The Society's objects are to restore, reconstruct, preserve, maintain and improve the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal.

    * Canal Authorised by Act of Parliament in 1791
    * Surveyed and Engineered by Matthew Fletcher
    * Opened in 1797 - Salford locks completed in 1808, linking the canal to the River Irwell
    * Length: 15 miles 1 furlong
    * Summit level from Bolton to Bury; 17 locks descend to Salford: a drop of 187ft
    * Maximum size of boats: 68' x 14' 2"
    * Principal traffic was coal from numerous canalside collieries
    * 20 tramroads linked the canal to other collieries
    * Major features: Damside Aqueduct (demolished), Prestolee Locks (2 staircases of 3 locks), Prestolee and Clifton Aqueducts, steam crane at Mount Sion, Ringley lock house, quarter-milestones
    * Originally designed as a narrow canal - widened during construction in order to be able to link with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Red Moss
    * Extensions to Red Moss, Haslingden & Sladen proposed but not built
    * Fletcher's Canal built c. 1791; connected to the MB&BC c. 1800
    * Canal became a railway company in 1831, and built the Manchester to Bolton line in 1838. The canal passed to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in 1847
    * Sections became disused from 1924; major breach at Prestolee in 1936; canal formally closed in 1941 & 1961; last use in Bury in 1965
    * Canal Society formed 1987
    * Canal protected by Salford, Bolton & Bury local authorities in their Unitary Development Plans
    * Restoration announced by British Waterways in 2002, work began in 2006

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