Rochdale Canal Bridge 35 – Walsden, Yorkshire, UK
Posted by: dtrebilc
N 53° 41.663 W 002° 05.981
30U E 559446 N 5949896
Quick Description: This stone bridge carries Birks Lane over the Rochdale Canal.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/8/2012 6:00:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMEV1R
Long Description:The Canal History
The Rochdale canal is 32 miles long and connects Manchester on the west side of the Pennine Hills and Sowerby Bridge on the east side.
The Rochdale Canal was completed in 1804 and is one of three canals that cross the Pennine hills. This is the only one that doesn’t use tunnels. In addition it was a broad canal with bridges and locks that allowed boats of 14 feet width to pass through.
The one downside of not using tunnels is that it originally had 92 locks. These days two of them have been combined into one deep lock.
Competition from railways and roads subsequently led to a decline in goods being carried and by 1937 the only section left in operation was at the Manchester end of the canal.
In 1965 there was talk of abandoning the canal but by this time leisure boating had become very popular in the UK and there was a campaign to keep it open. Work was started and the canal slowly re-opened in a number of different stages. The whole length finally reopened in September 2007.
All the locks on the canal have a standard length of 72 feet (22 metres).
Details of the bridge
This bridge is an integrated stone arch bridge built into lock 28.
A lock always forms the narrowest part of the canal and so incorporating the bridge into the lock makes it smaller and cheaper to build.
There were a number of woollen mills around here including the large Birks Mill. It’s known that canal boats stopped around here to load the goods from the mill and the bridge gave access to them. This website
gives more details.
This bridge was made a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1984 before the canal was restored, reference number 1133783.
The listing states "Hammer-dressed stone. Single span segmental arch has rusticated voussoirs, band and parapet."