Lock 1 On The Ashton Canal – Manchester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 28.807 W 002° 13.380
30U E 551564 N 5925961
Quick Description: This is the first lock on the Ashton Canal as it ascends out of Manchester towards Ashton Under Lyne.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/27/2013 10:13:15 AM
Waymark Code: WMH5T9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 3

Long Description:

The Ashton Canal
The Ashton Canal runs between Manchester and Ashton under Lyne, UK. It ascends for 6.7 miles and has 18 locks. It was originally built in 1796 to transport coal to the large industrial city of Manchester. As time went on a number of other short canals were built as branches to feed other goods from surrounding towns into the network. In 1800 the canal was extended slightly within Manchester to join the Rochdale Canal which greatly extended the network of the canals connected to Manchester. At its peak it was a successful canal, but competition from railways and then roads caused its closure in 1958.

During the 1960s and 1970s canals started to become popular with leisure boaters. After a long campaign this canal was restored and reopened in 1974. Most of the other small canal links however remain closed, but with junctions at each end it still forms part of a large network of canals

This canal is a so-called narrow canal and the locks can take boats that have maximum dimensions of 72 feet long and 7 feet wide.

Lock 1
This lock is the first one on the canal as it starts its ascent out of Manchester and is also known as Ancoats Bottom Lock.

The lock is one of three on the canal where both ends of the lock have double gates. Although this is normal for locks on broad canals in the UK, usually on narrow canals the top gate is a single gate.

It is also an unusual lock because when the canal was at its busiest the lock had two chambers side by side to ease congestion. These days only one chamber is used and the other one simply acts as an overflow channel. There was a wharf at this point and the area has now been redeveloped and an apartment block built next to the lock.

This lock is immediately next to a road bridge that carries Great Ancoats Street over the canal. Bridges are often built next to locks where the canal is at its narrowest and the bridge is cheaper and easier to build. Between the road bridge and the bottom gates is a small metal footbridge to give access to both sides of the canal to operate the lock gates.

The tow path leads down from the canal side on a steep cobbled path to enter a short tunnel under the road. The bridge has been widened to carry modern day road traffic and on the opposite side of the bridge from the lock is a date marker of 1989.

There is a plaque on the gates indicating they were replaced in 2007 and were made at Bradley Workshop The workshop is located at Bradley Lane, Bilston, West Midlands, WV14 8DW and it is possible to visit this workshop and see how lock gates are made.

In 1994 this lock became an English Heritage Grade II listed building.
Waterway Name: The Ashton Canal

Connected Points:
The canal connects with the Rochdale Canal at Manchester and the Hudderfield Narrow Canal at Ashton-Under-Lyne. There is also a junction with the Peak Forest Canal at Portland Basin in Ashton-Under-Lyne.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1796

Elevation Difference (meters): 2.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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