Old Sag Canal Aqueduct – Uppermill, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 33.212 W 002° 00.492
30U E 565704 N 5934306
Quick Description: This stone aqueduct carries the Huddersfield Narrow Canal over the River Thame.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/11/2012 1:57:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMFP2K
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 2

Long Description:
Details of the Aqueduct
This aqueduct and adjoining canal lock were built between 1794 and 1799 and was designed by Benjamin Outram. It carries the Huddersfield Narrow Canal over the River Thame.

It is known as the sag aqueduct because as this uk aqueducts website explains, it started to sink soon after it was completed. The sinking stabilised itself and the alignment was never changed.

The canal closed in 1944 for commercial purposes, and was later totally restored for leisure use by 2001.

Although the sag itself wasn’t a problem the lining of the aqueduct had developed leaks and needed repairs. According to the uk aqueducts website the aqueduct was relined with a steel liner. However this Pennine Waterways website shows the repair work being carried out and it shows that the liner was actually made from concrete.

This aqueduct and adjoining lock 23W together with an access bridge was made a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1986, reference number 1356719. It states “the aqueduct (higher end of lock) has a skew- segmental arch span, battered side walls with stone band and coping and battered square piers flanking the arch as well as terminating the walls”.

There is a path from the access bridge on lock 23W that leads down to the river and gives a view of the aqueduct from the river level.

Some years after the canal was completed a railway line was built that crosses the canal very close to lock 23W. It is a high structure with many arches and when the aqueduct is viewed from the river level the railway viaduct can be seen high above it.

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal
This canal is one of three that crosses the Pennine Hills and built to provide transport between Huddersfield in Yorkshire and Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.

As the name suggest it is a narrow canal that although was cheaper to build had less carrying capacity compared to the other two broad canals.

Work started on it in 1794 and partly due to the need to construct the longest canal tunnel in the United Kingdom it was completed 17 years later in 1811.
The canal is only 20 miles long and due to the nature of the terrain has 74 locks even though the summit tunnel reduced the required number of locks. The canal climbs 436 feet from Huddersfield and descends 334 feet to Ashton-Under-Lyne.

In theory having a summit tunnel to reduce the number of locks means that the journey times should be relatively short. However the tunnel does not have a tow path and when it was first opened it was necessary to lead the horses over the moor to the other end of the tunnel. Meanwhile it was necessary to leg the boat through the tunnel. This involved specialist workers who lay on their backs and used their legs with their feet against the tunnel wall to leg the boat through.

Competition from the railways led to the closure of the canal in 1944.

During the 1970s leisure boating in the U.K. had become popular and there were various campaigns to re-open canals that had lain derelict for a number of years.

Work on restoring this canal started in 1981 and the whole canal was finally reopened by 2001. These days the canal is only open to leisure boaters and with the re-opening of other connecting canals it is possible to travel far and wide.

However boats are restricted to maximum width of 6 feet 10 inches and a draught of 3 feet 3 inches which does restrict some boats that are used on the broad canals.
Related website: [Web Link]

When was it built?: 1/1/1799

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