Friday, March 29, 2013

NOW we’re on the Macc….

About noon today we moved on northward, pushing aside bits of last night’s ice already broken up by earlier boats.

Hall Green Stop Lock marks the original end-to-end junction between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Macclesfield Canal.SAM_4898 Hall Green
I mentioned yesterday that the T&M company built this stretch to control the junction between the two waterways, but they had another trick up their collective sleeves, too.
The lead-in to the Stop Lock is actually a now redundant extra lock chamber. But this lock had the gates reversed. In the unlikely event of the Macclesfield Canal water level being below that of the T&M, this lock would have prevented water loss “uphill”.

Old lock chamber
SAM_4899 Hall Green
I told you they were canny…

Water supply is also the reason for the complicated design of the junction at Hardings Wood. A couple of ordinary locks instead of the stop lock would have dropped the branch to the level of the main line where it (the branch) crosses over Pools Aqueduct. But this would have brought the water from the Macclesfield in on the western descent from the summit, rather than more usefully into the summit level itself. Cheeky.

I always think the “hobbit hole” bridges on this canal are delightful. SAM_4908 Kent Green Bridge

The weathered stone and graceful arches seem part of the landscape now, rather than an imposition on it.

Talking of impositions, a little further on is Ramsdell Hall, looking out over the valley.

Ramsdell Hall….SAM_4910 Ramsdell Hall

…and the view
SAM_4909 View From
You wouldn’t want that outlook spoiled by a hedgerow alongside the canal, would you? No, and nor did William Lowndes, owner of the hall at the time. He insisted that decorative railings edge the canal towpath, rather than the usual hawthorn.

Ironically, he later leased the hall to a certain Robert Williamson of Middlewich, who had coal mining interests in the area. He built a wharf at Kent Green (near Morris Bridge) which was connected to the collieries by a tramway. He had a rather different view of canals!

We moved on past the 48 hour moorings adjacent to Bridge 86, pulling in on the piling a hundred yards further on.

Later in the afternoon Ann and I took the mutts for a walk across the fields to the National Trust’s Little Moreton Hall.SAM_4912 Little Morton HallIt looks a bit dodgy, but then again it’s been around for nigh on 500 years…..

Locks 1, miles 2½

1 comment:

One Thing After Another said...

We moored just past Ramsden Hall last year at those nice railings.... It made us fall in love with the Macc and that's why we ended up here in Poynton! Give us a wave when you come past. If you end up here tomorrow you'll probably see me out on the deck struggling to put some new wooden deck tiles on the front deck!