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.
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
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.
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.
…and the view
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.It looks a bit dodgy, but then again it’s been around for nigh on 500 years…..
Locks 1, miles 2½