Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Marple Aqueduct

Marple Aqueduct
Peak Forest Canal

I visited Marple Aqueduct on 12th April 2010 and grabbed the opportunity to take some photo's before the foliage obscrued what view there was. This is a near impossible aqueduct to photograph hence the montage approach.

A 105 yard masonry aqueduct, constructed by Benjamin Outram between 1794 and 1800 carrying the Peak Forest Canal 90 feet over the River Goyt on three graceful arches.
The structure is innovative in a number of ways, with its oval base piers being made of red sandstone sourced from the nearby Hyde Bank Quarry, and the upper sections using white masonry. The upper sections borrowed a construction technique from William Edwards in the shape of spandrills (drills through the spans!) piercing the haunches of the arches, reducing the weight of masonry.

The end result is a hugely elegant structure fully justifying its status as an Ancient Monument.
As at Chirk, a later railway viaduct runs parallel all but slightly higher than the canal aqueduct, detracting from its grandeur but even so, it has rightly been described as one of the finest monuments to the canal age.



  1. I´m a brazilian architect. I loved your blog. I'll follow you and your aqueducts! Bye

  2. Thanks Sylvia
    I think that they are quite amazing structures, considering most are over 200 years old.

  3. Just came accross your post about Marple Aqueduct, and noted the photo of the structure in the present day.

    I was at Marple taking photographs last week for a canals and waterways photo project, and was disappointed to find that it is virtually impossible to see the aqueduct (except from the railway!) because the surrounding vegetation all but obscures it from view!