Manchester Transport




The Huddersfield
Narrow Canal

Restoration of
the long derelict Huddersfield Narrow Canal was completed on 1st May
2001, and is now fully open between Ashton’s Portland Basin and Huddersfield
in Yorkshire, exactly 57 years after its closure.
It runs
a total of 32 km or 20 miles from Ashton, where it connects with the
Cheshire Ring (sometimes known as the Pennine Ring) and rises over
some 70-odd locks through the Pennine hills into Yorkshire.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal at Upper MillHuddersfield Canal Narrowboat at SaddleworthStalybridge Canal bridges on the Huddersfield narrow Canal
Draught horse-drawn
narrowboat; Cruises on the canal at Uppermill; Tunnels and bridges
in Stalybridge town centre; Narrowboat on the Huddersfield Canal near

It has been the
subject of one of the most arduous and exciting restoration projects
in the country, as a result of a partnership between British Waterways,
the Huddersfield Canal Society and local boroughs of Tameside, Oldham
and Kirklees, as well as funding from the Millennium Commission Lottery
Project fund.
The Huddersfield Canal Company had been formed by volunteers in 1974,
despite a great deal of opposition, not least from local authorities.
Whole tracts of the canal, particularly at Stalybridge, had been filled
in and built over. Some of the most expensive and dramatic reconstructions
have taken place here, as the canal has had to be raised and lowered
by locks through the centre of the town as it passes through on its
way to Uppermill and Saddleworth. The cost of the restoration was
supported by Grant from the National Lottery Funds as a recognised
Millennium Project.
Many parts of the canal are designated as Sites of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSIs) for their rare species of birds and plants. There
are several tunnels on the canal, but most imposing is the infamous
Standedge Tunnel, boasted as the “highest, longest and deepest
canal tunnel in Britain”.
A unique feat of 19th century engineering, the tunnel was cut through
hard Pennine rock with little more than picks, shovels and hammers,
and over 50 men lost their lives creating its 3½ miles (5200M).
The nearby Standedge Visitor Centre has exhibits for the public and
acts as administration centre for the tunnel, which is at present
a toll tunnel, and some £35 has to be paid for the privilege
of sailing through in one direction.
For all Standedge Visitor Centre enquiries telephone 01484-844298,
or visit the website at

To keep abreast of events on the Huddersfield Canal, to work as a
volunteer, to join or make a donation, contact:

Canal Society, 239 Mossley Road, Ashton-under-LyneOL6 6LN.
Tel: 0161-339 1332

every care has been taken in the compilation of these listings to ensure
their accuracy, the authors cannot guarantee that information has not
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© John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 20 Nov 11.