Barton Aqueduct - Barton, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 28.496 W 002° 21.167
30U E 542956 N 5925300
Quick Description: This swing aqueduct carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal and is the first and only swing aqueduct in the world.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/21/2014 8:13:39 AM
Waymark Code: WMN3R8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 1

Long Description:

The Bridgewater Canal
"The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was opened in 1761 from Worsley to Manchester, and later extended from Manchester to Runcorn, and then from Worsley to Leigh.

Often considered to be the first "true" canal in England, as it relied upon existing watercourses as sources of water rather than as navigable routes. Navigable throughout its history, it is one of the few canals in Britain not to have been nationalised, and remains privately owned. Pleasure craft now use the canal which forms part of the Cheshire Ring network of canals." link

The Manchester Ship Canal
The Manchester Ship Canal is an inland waterway 36 miles (58 km) long in the North West of England. Starting at the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool, it has several sets of locks that lift vessels about 60 feet (18 m) up to Manchester, where the canal's terminus was built. This canal opened in 1894 and enabled the newly created Port of Manchester to become Britain's third busiest port despite the city being about 40 miles inland. link

The Aqueduct
"The Barton Swing Aqueduct is a moveable navigable aqueduct in Barton upon Irwell in Greater Manchester, England. It carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal. The swinging action allows large vessels using the ship canal to pass underneath and smaller narrowboats to cross over the top. The aqueduct, the first and only swing aqueduct in the world,[1] is a Grade II* listed building,[2] link considered a major feat of Victorian civil engineering.[2][3] Designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams and built by Andrew Handyside and Company of Derby, the swing bridge opened in 1894 and remains in regular use.

The Barton Swing Aqueduct is a direct replacement for the earlier Barton Aqueduct, a masonry structure crossing the River Irwell and completed in 1761. The construction of the Manchester Ship Canal in the 1890s necessitated the replacement of this structure, as the height of ships using the new ship canal was too great to pass under the old aqueduct.[5] An alternative scheme involving the use of a double lock flight was rejected, because of the need to conserve water in the Bridgewater Canal above.[6]

The new aqueduct was designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams,[2] engineer to the Manchester Ship Canal Company, and was built by Andrew Handyside and Company of Derby. The first barge crossed the new aqueduct on 21 August 1893, and it opened to commercial traffic on 1 January 1894.[7] Williams was also involved with the Anderton Boat Lift, another moving canal structure in the region.

The aqueduct is a form of swing bridge. When closed, it allows canal traffic to pass along the Bridgewater Canal. When large vessels need to pass along the ship canal underneath, the 1,450-tonne (1,430-long-ton; 1,600-short-ton)[3] and 330-foot (100 m) long iron trough[5] is rotated 90 degrees on a pivot mounted on a small purpose-built island. Gates at each end of the trough retain around 800 tonnes of water; additional gates on each bank retain water in their adjacent stretches of canal.[3] The aqueduct originally had a suspended towpath along its length, about 9 feet (2.7 m) above the water level of the Bridgewater Canal, which has now been removed.[9]

The structure is adjacent to, and upstream of, the Barton Road Swing Bridge. Both bridges are operated from a brick control tower on an island in the centre of the ship canal. When in the open position, the aqueduct and road bridge line up along the length of the island, allowing ships to traverse each side.[6][10] To avoid the risk of collision, the aqueduct is opened half an hour before traffic on the Manchester Ship Canal is scheduled to pass.[11]

The turning mechanism built into the central island consists of a 27-foot (8.2 m) race plate embedded in granite blocks. Sixty-four tapered cast iron rollers sit on top of the race plate, held in position by a spider ring. On top of that an upper race plate supports the aqueduct and its circular gear rack, which was powered by a hydraulic engine manufactured by Sir W. G. Armstrong Mitchell of Newcastle. Hydraulic power was originally supplied by steam from two Lancashire boilers housed in a pumping station on the Eccles bank of the ship canal;[12] a service culvert beneath the bed of the canal conveyed the water under pressure to the control tower on the island.[13] In 1939 the original hydraulic engines were replaced by a pair of radial three-cylinder engines manufactured by the Hydraulic Engineering Company of Chester, and the following year a power house was built on the island to house two electrically driven pumps. The old steam pumping station was demolished after the Second World War.[9]" link

There is no longer a tow path on the aqueduct, but there is access to the north west end of the aqueduct on the Manchester Ship Canal from Pocket Park a small park running parallel with the part of the aqueduct next to Redclyffe Road.

Alternatively access to the south east end of the aqueduct can be obtained by walking from Redclyffe Road along Chapel Place.
Related website: [Web Link]

When was it built?: 1/1/1894

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