Friday, 3 May 2013


The Leeds & Liverpool Canal lays claim to being the longest single canal in England. I would dispute this as the stretch from Wigan Top Lock to Jonson's Hillock when built was part of the Lancaster Canal. (aka The Walton Summit). It was never conceived as a trunk canal but evolved from the demand for improved local transport.  Hence construction started in Leeds and Liverpool simultaneously and the bit in the middle came later. It is the shortest of the trans-Pennine canals but took the longest to build. To the west of the summit the canal relies heavily on reservoirs and we have seen the problems caused in dry summers with the canal being closed from time to time.  To the east  there are more streams and rivers feeding the canal and so the Yorkshire section is less susceptible to drought conditions. There are other differences between the Red Rose and White Rose sections too.  There are more swing bridges and most of the locks are arranged in staircases.  Is this, I wonder, an example of the well-known Yorkshire characteristic of being careful with money? If locks are arranged in staircases the lower gate of one lock is also the upper gate of the next and fewer gates have to be constructed: also it is cheaper to install a swing bridge than to build up a road and  construct a decent stone one.
Bingley 5-rise Locks

As we descended from Riddlesden last week our route involved three staircases and a singleton-

Bingley 5-rise,

Bingley 3-rise,

Dowley Gap 2-rise

and Hirst Lock

Bingley 3-rise Locks

Dowley Gap 2-rise Locks

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be removed if considered inappropriate