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Peak Forest Canal at Bridgemont, Whaley Bridge, 1981
2 August 1981
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The junction of the canal arms to Buxworth (left) and Whaley Bridge (right) on the Peak Forest Canal at Bridgemont looking south-east.
The Peak Forest Canal is some 15 miles in length and extends from Dukinfield, Manchester via Marple and New Mills to Bridgemont where it splits in order to serve both Buxworth and 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 a 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. 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).