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Peak Forest Canal, Marple, 1981
2 August 1981
Peak Forest Canal
About this image
Marple Locks on the Peak Forest Canal looking south with the former canal warehouse on the right. The lock gate in the foreground belongs to Lock No 9, while the warehouse was constructed by Samuel Oldknow, a local industrialist and associate (and financer) of Richard Arkwright. It was erected about 1801 using 'freestone' quarried on Oldknow's estate. Listed Grade II in 1985, it was subsequently converted into offices for an architectural practice and named Lockside Mill.
The Peak Forest Canal is just under 15 miles in length and extends from Dukinfield, Manchester via Marple and New Mills to Bridgemont where it splits with an eastern arm running to Buxworth and a southern arm to Whaley Bridge. It was engineered by Benjamin Outram and opened throughout in 1800, although traffic had been using the upper part since 1796. The waterway consists of two level pounds joined by the flight of 16 locks at Marple which raise the canal 209 feet (64 metres) over the course of 1 mile (1.6 km). Traffic declined with the coming of the railways and by the early 1960s the canal was impassable as a through route. However, the Peak Forest Canal Society and the Inland Waterways Association campaigned for restoration and navigation was restored up to Whaley Bridge in 1974 (although the Buxworth arm had to wait until 2005).