Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Gorton and Openshaw Station Aqueduct

Gorton and Openshaw Station Aqueduct
Stockport Branch Canal (disused arm of Aston Canal)

This short, lock free 4.5 mile branch canal is a side arm of the Ashton Canal in Manchester, making it's exit from the mainline at Clayton Junction and included two aqueducts. Only the aqueduct at Gorton remains, now carrying a footpath over the railway line.

Photo courtesy of Martin Ludgate

The Gorton aqueduct was originally constructed in stone in 1797 but was later replaced in 1906 with a steel structure spanning a newly widened railway, and
remains in situ today. The second aqueduct also crossed a railway and was located mid way along the arm, a structure which has been demolished.

Photo courtesy of www.penninewaterways.co.uk

The line of the canal remains remarkably intact and whilst meaningful trade ceased in the 1930's, it was dredged in the 1950's before finally being abandoned in 1962, and infilled over the following decade. Given it's lack of scenic beauty it is remarkable that an active restoration society is hard at work seeking to reinstate this waterway. Maybe the gentrification of the Ashton Canal has reached a point where this side arm would be an attractive option, providing a safe mooring can be found at the far end.

1 comment:

  1. I went to England in 1996, and I loved it so much, but, when I returned to Brazil, I've told everybody that I couldn't see a tall building. This second photo denies what I said...