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Bridgewater Canal timeline 1761 - 2020

Bridgewater Canal timeline 1761 - 2020

Established in 1761, the Bridgewater Canal can lay claim to being the first cut canal in the world – a canal that took its own course, independent of a river – and the spark that ignited the Industrial Revolution.

The length of the canal in Salford, from the underground canals that served the mines of Worsley to the world’s first passenger railway in Patricroft and the aqueduct at Barton, tell the story of a period when this small area changed the world.

The Bridgewater Canal in Salford defined a moment in history at the start of the Industrial Revolution and had the same significance as the railways would have 80 years later, and indeed the Internet has had in our time.

1761
.

Following the royal assent given to build the canal in 1759, the Bridgewater Canal was opened on 17 July and reached as far as the Barton Aqueduct, a massive and impressive structure that allowed the Bridgewater Canal to cross the River Irwell.

1763
.

Coal distribution and delivery from Salford was improved to such an extent by the Bridgewater Canal that the recorded price of coal being sold in Manchester dropped to half the cost prior to the canal opening.

1769
.

Passenger services started on the canal operated by the Duke of Bridgewater, using his own boats.

1776
.

The Bridgewater Canal was completed between Runcorn and Manchester.

1795
.

The Bridgewater Canal was extended from Worsley to Leigh to meet the Wigan branch of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

1803
.

Death of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater.

1830
.

Opening of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway line on 15 September – the world’s first passenger railway line – which crosses the canal at Patricroft.

1836
.

James Nasmyth, inventor of the Steam Hammer, relocated to Patricroft.

1851
.

After arriving by train, Queen Victoria travelled from Patricroft to Worsley by Royal Barge. The Queen’s Arms at Patricroft Station got its name after they stopped there for refreshments.

1872
.

The Bridgewater Navigation Company was formed, acquiring the canal for £1,200,000.

1885
.

The Bridgewater Canal was purchased by the Manchester Ship Canal Company for £1,710,000.

1893
.

The Barton Swing Aqueduct, a rotating tank, was built alongside the original stone structure, Brindley’s aqueduct to cross the canalized Irwell which became the Manchester Ship Canal.

1910
.

Worsley Works Yard, which included a boat yard, nailmakers’ workshop and a warehouse, was cleared to create The Green. The Green is now a picturesque residential area with an impressive variety of period style homes. The homes were originally meant for estate workers.

Standing proudly on The Green is a monument to ‘Canal Duke’ Francis Egerton, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. This memorial was made from the base of the old works chimney.

1961
.

Old coal shutes at Boothstown were removed and the basin was converted into the Bridgewater Marina.

1967
.

Restoration of the Bridgewater Canal through Worsley Village and the Delph.

1968
.

Queen Elizabeth II visited the Bridgewater Canal.

1974
.

Formation of the Bridgewater Canal Trust.

1990
.

During the 1990s new housing and a park were developed alongside the Boothstown section of the Bridgewater Canal.

2011
.

The 250th anniversary of the opening of the Bridgewater Canal sees a year of celebrations, alongside the adoption of The Bridgewater Canal Masterplan.

2014
.

Announcement of £3.6 million funding from Heritage Lottery Fund to revitalise the Bridgewater Canal in Salford over the following four years, matched by a further £1.9million from Salford City Council and major partners.

2016
.

Barton Aqueduct’s original 1761 foundations cleared of overgrown vegetation and stonework cleaned and restored.

2019
.

After being closed off for years, Worsley Delph basin, the start of the canal’s story, re-opens to the public.

2020
.

RHS Garden Bridgewater opens on the site of the former Worsley New Hall.