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Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Description: Restored to full navigation in 2001, this 20 mile navigation crosses the Pennines from Huddersfield, where it joins the Huddersfield Broad Canal, to Ashton-Under-Lyne, where it joins the Ashton Canal.

History: Promoted by an Act of 1794 and opened in 1811. Closed in 1944 by the LMS Railway Act.

Points of Interest: Contains the longest (5698 yards) and highest (645 feet) tunnel (Standedge) in Britain. Special arrangements apply to navigation of the tunnel. Contact British Waterways for details well in advance.

See Priestley's Navigable Rivers and Canals for more information.

Mid January 1793

Nicholas Brown

Did the original survey for the line of the canal.

22nd October 1793

Benjamin Outram

He reports on the proposed canal which he estimates at 178,748 exclusive of plarliamentary expenses.

January 1794

Promoted by an Act.

April 1794

Benjamin Outram

He is appointed engineer.

April 1794

Nicholas Brown

Appointed surveyor and superintendent under Benjamin Outram.

July 1795

John Evans

Was employed at 2 guineas a week in charge of building Standege Tunnel under Benjamin Outram. He later did some contracting.

After November 1795

Benjamin Outram

He decides to only work on Standedge Tunnel from the two ends thus saving the expense of sinking the very deep shafts that would be needed to work at more places but extending the completion date.

September 1797

Benjamin Outram

He reports that the Standedge tunnel contractor Thomas Lee could not complete his work under his present terms and would be ruined if he was not given some allowance for the unforseen dificulties encountered. The committee increased his rate for the contract and allowed him an extra year.

January 1798

John Evans

He left his job working on Standedge Tunnel.

Early January 1799

Nicholas Brown

With Standedge tunnel the only remaining major work to be completed, his job came to an end.

January 1800

John Varley

He was doing some flood repair work for the company and they considered him for work on the Standedge Tunnel. They were satisfied with his character but all his sureties backed out (his engineering reputation was not the best) so he was only used for some limited tunnelling work.

October 1800

Benjamin Outram

Was asked to report on a tramoad from Woolroad to Marton that had been suggested by the Peak Forest company as a stop gap until Standedge Tunnel was completed. Nothing came of this idea.

October 1801

John Rooth

Was assisted by John Rooth in tunnelling at Standedge.

October 1801

John Booth

Was assisting John Rooth in tunnelling at Standedge.

Early January 1802

John Woodhouse

He had made a bid for a contract to dig the middle section of the tunnel but withdrew when he got a contract on Blisworth Tunnel on the Grand Junction Canal.

January 1811

Opened.

January 1811

Standedge Tunnel was completed under the direction of John Rooth and the opening ceremony took place on the 4th April 1811.

January 1814

Nicholas Brown

Appointed engineer.

January 1819

Nicholas Brown

Left his post as engineer.

January 1819

John Raistrick

Appointed engineer.

Mid January 1819

John Raistrick

He proposed a steamboat working on a chain laid in Standedge Tunnel could be used for towage but the idea seems not to have been followed up at the time.

January 1822

John Raistrick

About this time he offered to run a steam tug through Standedge Tunne lat a charge not exceeding 3 shillings if he were allowed to operate free of dues for ten years. A tug was operating by late 1824.

January 1822

Mr Wharton

He experimented with a steam boat, which resulted in tests being made of steam tugs through Standedge Tunnel using the Raistrick's chain principle.

January 1834

John Raistrick

He suggests creating an artifical current by pumping to propel boats through Standedge Tunnel.

January 1843

John Raistrick

Left his post as engineer.

January 1944

Closed by the LMS Railway Act.

January 1998

The South Pennine Ring by John Lower, Published by Hallamshire Press - A boaters' and walkers' guide to the Huddersfield and Rochdale Canals.

January 2001

Canal reopened on 1 May.

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List