Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Mile 8 - Little Lever, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 33.265 W 002° 22.465
30U E 541443 N 5934130
Quick Description: This milestone is 8 miles from the start of the canal at Manchester. It was erected in 2013 as part of a regeneration scheme for the canal and is in a picnic area at the junction where it splits one arm to Bolton, one to Bury.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/9/2016 3:27:09 AM
Waymark Code: WMTM6B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Ernmark
Views: 0

Long Description:
"In 1790 there was a proposal for a waterway to link Manchester with Bolton and Bury. The canal was to start at the River Irwell at Manchester. One of the land owners, Matthew Fletcher, was the original technical adviser and he was a mining engineer turned coal owner. At a meeting on 19 January 1791 the last amendments to the draft Parliamentary Bill were made. The Bill received its royal assent on 13 May 1791.

The canal was opened in 1796 from Bolton and Bury to the Oldfield Road terminus and extended to the River Irwell in 1808.

Coal carrying was one of the main reasons for building the canal. A lot of the mines were situated very close to the waterway so that loading was direct from pit head to boat. Lime, limestone, manure, stone, sand and slate were also carried on the canal. Prior to the construction of the railway between Bolton and Manchester passengers and parcels were carried on the packet boats. Later timber was carried in boats and by floating it on the water. Night soil was loaded onto boats from carts at Frederick Road bridge in Salford and was shovelled through doors in the bridge parapets into the boat below. Unlike the tradition on most other canals the boatmen did not live on the boats; they lived "on the bank".

In 1846 the Company was taken over by the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company, and the name of the company was changed in 1847 to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. In 1936 there were two serious breaches of the canal bank and traffic fell drastically.

In 1941 Parliamentary powers to abandon the breached sections were obtained. Navigation was restricted to a 4½ mile stretch from the Bury terminus to Ladyshore and from Salford to Clifton. More of the canal was abandoned in 1944.

In the immediate post war period, like most canals in this country, the remains of the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal were nationalised.

In 1955 in the "Report of the Board of Survey" (British Transport Commission) the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal was "a waterway having insufficient commercial prospects to justify their retention for navigation".

A British Transport Commission Act of 1961 abandoned the rest of the canal. Right of Navigation ceased in 1962 but some traffic continued in Bury for a short time.

Parts of the canal have been filled in over the years and sections have been sold to a variety of owners."

In 1987 the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society was formed to try and restore the canal for leisure use. They have cleared parts of the canal and restored some of the towpaths for walking and cycling. A small section at the Manchester end of the canal has also been restored and new locks constructed. link

Because the canal was isolated most trips on the canal were of short duration and so the milestones on the canal were at 1/4 mile intervals.

This 8 mile milestone is at the junction of all the arm of the canal, the main one went to Manchester, one side arm went to Bolton and one went to Bury. This milestone is approximately 6 feet high, and has three vertical pieces meeting in the middle. Each narrow side is pointing to one of the three arms of the canal and is inscribed with the name of the town at the end, eg Bury, Manchester etc.

It is also inscribed with footprints of various visitors that may pass it by. This includes the foot prints of birds, horses, dogs and human boots.

It was designed by artist Yolande Baxendale and erected as part of an artwork installation to help regenerate the canal. A footbridge that crossed the Manchester arm of the canal had been demolished many years ago and reduced access to the area. A replacement bridge was built using scaled up versions of the Child's building kit called Meccano. Picnic tables were also built using the same kit and this milestone erected at the same time. link
Condition: Immaculate

Date placed: 4/6/2013

Material: Concrete


Name of road: The Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal

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