Historical Background Notes

Bridgewater Canal & Worsley Delph

photo of entrance to minesCommissioned by Sir Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to enable movement of coal from his mines at Worsley to Manchester, the Bridgewater Canal could be considered to be the first canal of the new era. Completed in 1761, it originally just ran from Worsley to Manchester, but was extended to connect to Runcorn (and later the Trent & Mersey Canal at Preston Brook) in the west and to Leigh in the north. As part of the construction of the original line, an aqueduct  was required at Barton.

The water around the Worsley area is coloured orange from the iron oxides that still leach from the mine workings (similar to the water around the Harecastle Tunnel ).


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