South Portal - Woodley Tunnel - Peak Forest Canal - Woodley, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 25.562 W 002° 05.901
30U E 559912 N 5920044
Quick Description: Woodley tunnel on the Peak Forest Canal was built between 1794 and 1801 and is 176 yards long.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/9/2014 11:13:12 AM
Waymark Code: WMMVK5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Peak Forest Canal
It is a narrow canal constructed between 1794 and 1805 and is fourteen miles long. It connects Buxworth with Dukinfield where it joins the Ashton Canal. The main purpose of the canal was to transport limestone from quarries above Buxworth.

The canal has sixteen locks near the town of Marple that raise the canal a height of 210 feet in a distance of 1 mile.

The advent of the railways and later modern roads led to the decline of the canal and it fell into disuse between 1920 and 1960. An upsurge in leisure boat use led to the canal being restored and reopened in 1974.

Woodley Tunnel
"The tunnel was designed and built by canal engineers Benjamin Outram and Thomas Brown. It is 176 yards and has a tow path with a hand rail along its complete length.

It has an almost round headed arch - slight skew.

At some point the roof of the tunnel has been concrete lined. The tow path has also had the original cobbles replaced with concrete."

This portal became an English Heritage Grade II listed building on 10th February 1995. link

The tunnel is used by boats travelling in either direction but there is no room to pass inside the tunnel. The tunnel is short enough that it can be walked without a torch, but the floor, which can get muddy and wet, is not visible. It is better to take a torch to aid visibility.

The are some steps at the side of the south portal leading to a higher level above the canal. However these steps have been blocked off. The only way to see the tunnel on foot is either to walk through the tunnel from the north portal, or to approach it along the tow path from south.

There are two Canal and River Trust information signs for boaters visible as the boats approach the portal entrance.
Woodley Tunnel

North Portal

Tunnel Length: 153m

Method of working: Two way traffic

Maximum craft size:
2.5m Beam
2.4m Maximum headroom

Approximate travel time through the time: 1 min 30 secs

BW emergency contact: T 0303 040 4040

Grid Ref 393522 392051

British Waterways
Caution low headroom
Cyclists please dismount
Ensure tunnel is clear before proceeding
remain inside the the boat profile
Extinguish all naked lights except pilot lights
Do not smoke
Do not use cooking appliances
Switch on your headlight.
Turn off your engine if you have to stop for any reason
Is the Tunnel in Use?: In Use

Which End is this Entrance?: South

Date Constructed: 1/1/1801

Length of Tunnel: 176 yards

Construction Material: Coursed millstone grit, ashlar band, coping and voussors.

Associated Website: [Web Link]

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