Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Flash, the aqueduct & the mystery wall

Another towpath walk today, but this time I was looking for things you don’t usually see from the boat.  However, first I must correct an earlier comment about Wardle Canal.  Mike left a comment pointing out my explanation of the entrance to the canal wasn’t clear.  Today I took another photo from a different position.

IMG_8769Now you can see the chandlery to the left with Kings Lock in the middle.  The entrance to Wardle Canal is under the bridge to the right.  Have a look at the sky.  It’s a total change to the last few days.


On the northern outskirts of Middlewich the canal crosses the River Dane using Croxton Aqueduct. We’ve crossed the aqueduct on two previous journeys but never stopped to look at it.  The aqueduct is a trough made from cast iron sections bolted together.

IMG_8758The design of the trough doesn’t look as old as the one we saw at Pontcysyllte.  Then I noticed what appeared to be part of a stone wall adjacent to the aqueduct.

IMG_8759It was a puzzle until later when I was walking west along the Middlewich Branch towpath.  I happened to stop and look down into a gully.  I realised I was looking at the River Wheelock which passes under the canal and joins the River Dane close to Croxton Aqueduct.  What I particularly noted was a curved stone wing wall which forms part of the aqueduct.

curveIf you can’t see it in the above photo then look at the next photo where I have drawn a red line adjacent to the wall.   


I had a feeling the current Croxton Aqueduct wasn’t the original structure and went Google searching.  Apparently the current aqueduct was constructed in 1930 after the original stone structure was washed away in a flood.  That stone work appears to be part of the original aqueduct.

Further along from Croxton Aqueduct is Croxton Flash.


I assume most of you know a flash is formed by mining subsidence which is subsequently flooded.  In 1882 Croxton Salt Works was located in this area.  It continued operating until 1920 when subsidence closed it.  If I recall correctly we saw the remains of some sunken boats in the flash when we first passed this way during our second canal holiday in 2003.  Either they have been removed or the reeds are obscuring them.

1 comment :

Adam said...

Can I recommend you get some Pearson's Canal Companions? All manner of things such as the aqueduct story are detailed in humourous prose, and they highlight all sorts of interesting things like old railways lines, former courses of the canal, etc etc. I love them.