North West Portal - Hydebank Tunnel - Peak Forest Canal - Romiley, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 24.613 W 002° 04.922
30U E 561019 N 5918298
Quick Description: Hydebank tunnel on the Peak Forest Canal was built between 1794 and 1801 and is 285 meters long.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/10/2014 3:05:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMMVRR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
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.

Hydebank Tunnel
"The tunnel was designed and built by canal engineers Benjamin Outram and Thomas Brown. It is 285 meters long and has no tow path. It has a semi-circular arch with 2 projecting stone bands.”

This portal became an English Heritage Grade II listed building on 11th October 1985. link

In 1895 part of the tunnel roof collapsed and the initial repair work almost caused the nearby Hyde Bank House to collapse. A Mr Hirst was then employed to supervise the work as he had experience of working on Standedge Tunnel on the Rochdale Canal.

At the time of the repair work the canal had been taken over by a rail company and the canal had started to decline. The railway company were keen to save money and they persuaded Mr Hirst to reopen the canal whilst relining the roof of the tunnel with bricks. Although most of this work was completed Mr Hirst resigned before the end of the work and a short length of the canal is still lined with the original stone work. link

Today the tunnel is used by boats travelling in either direction and there is room to pass inside the tunnel. At the time of opening when canal boats were towed by horses the boats had to be legged through the tunnel. Meanwhile the horses walked over the top of the tunnel and met the boats on the other side.

Anyone walking along the towpath needs to take the same ½ mile path that the horses used to use.

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

North West Portal

Tunnel Length: 285m

Method of working: Two way traffic

Maximum craft size:
4.9m Beam
2.4m Maximum headroom

Approximate travel time through the time: 3 mins

BW emergency contact: T 0303 040 4040

Grid Ref 394644 390406

Canal & River Trust
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?: North West

Date Constructed: 1/1/1801

Length of Tunnel: 285 metres

Construction Material: Dressed stone and most of the length replaced with bricks after 1895 roof collapse

Associated Website: [Web Link]

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