Wharfinger's House - Buxworth, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 20.151 W 001° 58.424
30U E 568336 N 5910123
Quick Description: The Wharfinger was responsible for looking after the canal wharves, and also collecting the tolls from the canal boats.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/20/2014 11:14:28 AM
Waymark Code: WMKZ9X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Sir Lose-a-lot
Views: 0

Long Description:
This toll house is at the end of the Peak Forest Canal Basin and near to the Peak Forest Tramway.

The 18th Century had seen the development of the canal network in the UK to carry heavy goods, and led to towns such as Manchester become the first large industrial towns.

There was a demand for limestone and grit stone from the nearby quarries to be transported to Manchester and beyond and so the Peak Forest Canal was built with a connection to the Ashton Canal at Ashton-Under-Lyne.

The canal had a series of 16 locks to lift the canal a height of 209 feet from Ashton-Under-Lyne to this point, but the final rise to the quarries was to high for a canal. So a horse drawn tramway was built to form a connection between the canal junction here and the quarries themselves.

Much of the output from the quarries was loaded directly onto the canal boats but there was also a total of 19 lime kilns on this site to process the limestone into quick lime.

The wagons from the tramway took the limestone at a high level to the top of the kilns. After processing the processed quick lime was extracted from the bottom of the kiln and loaded onto the canal boats. A model of the site and information panel on the other side of the canal describe the operation of the site.

The site operated between 1796 until the 1920s. The canal and this basin was closed down and allowed to become derelict. However in the 1960s and 1970s leisure boating became popular and many canals were renovated and re-opened for leisure purposes.

Most of the Peak Forest Canal reopened 1974 and at that time terminated at Whaley Bridge. The remainder of the canal and this basin was reopened in 1999. However a major leak from the canal needed further renovation and it didn’t fully re-open until 2003. Much of the tramway has also been converted into a walking trail.

The basin is now protected as Scheduled Ancient Monument number 242 under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

It should be noted that the name of the nearby village changed its name from Bugsworth to Buxworth in 1930, but the basin continues to be called Bugsworth basin.

The Toll House
The Wharfinger's house stands just before the start of the canal basin. The canal is very narrow here, just wide enough to accommodate a typical canal narrow boat. The wharfinger would stop the boats at this narrow point and evaluate the weight of the load and therefore the toll.

These days the house is a private residence. It's historical importance is demonstrated by the fact that it has a blue plaque on the wall, but is also an English Heritage Grade II listed building.

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