Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Walking the Waterways (24) : Rochdale Canal

The Rochdale Canal links Manchester to Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire, passing through Rochdale. The canal is a wide canal which opened in stages from 1798, the final branch opening in 1834. The canal was successful and became on the major trunk routes for commerce between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Despite competition from the railways the canal reached it's peak in commercial traffic in 1845.

The canal went into decline as with most waterways in the late 19th and 20th centuries though remained profitable until after the First World War. Most of the canal was closed in 1952 and became unusable in the 1960s, including being cut in two by the M62 motorway. Despite attempts to abandon the canal, work to restore it began in the 1970s. It was not until 2002 that the canal was restored for navigation along it's full length.