Lock 4W On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Stalybridge, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 28.909 W 002° 03.688
30U E 562281 N 5926281
Quick Description: This lock is the 4th from Ashton-Under-Lyne on the west side of the Standedge Tunnel at the summit.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/3/2012 1:25:25 PM
Waymark Code: WMFVEC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 0

Long Description:

Lock 4W
Being a narrow canal the locks on this canal are also narrow, and this reduces the size of the lock gates compared to a broad canal.

The bottom gates are a double pair as is normal on U.K. broad canals, but the top gate, where the water enters is only a single gate.

The paddles for the bottom gates to let water out of the lock are built into the gates themselves. To let water into the lock at the top gate the paddles are built into the side of the canal.

This lock is on the outskirts of the town of Stalybridge and because it is in an urban setting there are iron railings on each side of the canal to separate people from the lock. There is a gate way in the railings to allow access to the lock if desired.

This canal had closed as a working canal in 1944 and because of its urban setting had been filled in. A nearby petrol station had been built on top of part of the in-filled lock.

When work started to re-open the canal in 2000 major engineering works had to be carried out to remove all the infill. Because of the petrol station it was necessary to build a completely new lock close to the original but on a slightly different line.

Because the alteration to the line of the canal it was also necessary to build a new bridge under Caroline Street, immediately next to the double bottom lock gates.

The lock had an escape ladder built into the lock wall and a wooden footbridge placed next to the lock gates to provide access to both sides of the canal operate the gates.

This Pennine Waterways Website shows the extensive engineering works carried out on the re-sited lock. The pictures show how the lock has been made out of concrete using modern construction methods.

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.
Waterway Name: The Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Connected Points:
Links the Huddersfield Broad Canal at Huddersfield in Yorkshire to the Ashton Canal at Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 4/9/2001

Elevation Difference (meters): 4.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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