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Fletcher's Canal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fletcher's Canal
Clifton Pilkingtons Factory Fletchers Canal.jpg
Fletcher's Canal showing Clifton Viaduct in the distance. Pilkington's factory is on the right.
Principal engineerMatthew Fletcher
Date completed1800
Date closed1952
Branch ofManchester Bolton & Bury Canal

Fletcher's Canal was a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) long canal in Greater Manchester, which connected the Wet Earth Colliery to the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal at Clifton Aqueduct. The canal is now derelict and no longer used.

The canal was built on the south bank of the River Irwell through the area now known as Clifton Country Park. West of Pilkington's long sections of the canal are evident, although none of these sections hold water. As the canal passes through Clifton Country Park a footpath is maintained along the former towpath. Some of the original features are still evident, albeit in extremely poor condition.

The canal is now completely overgrown and almost lost.
The canal is now completely overgrown and almost lost.
A submerged boat on the canal bed, in 1986
A submerged boat on the canal bed, in 1986


Between 1752 and 1756, James Brindley devised a method of pumping water from the nearby Wet Earth Colliery using power harnessed from the River Irwell via a water wheel.

Around 1790-91 Matthew Fletcher began widening some of the original Brindley water channels to create a new canal, latterly known as Fletcher's Canal. In 1799 Benjamin Outram installed a lock [1] along the canal, to avoid taking too much water. The canal construction was completed and navigable by 1800.

In 1867 the original Brindley water wheel was decommissioned and replaced with a water turbine. This was replaced by a steam pump in 1924. Wet Earth Colliery was closed in 1928, and in 1952 the canal was closed and abandoned.

See also


Fletcher's Canal
Pack Saddle Bridge
Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal
Wet Earth Colliery
Pumping Station
1.5 miles Canal Terminates


External links

This page was last edited on 17 December 2019, at 12:32
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