Bsco To Parbold Canal Trail - Narrow Point of View
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The Leeds and Liverpool Canal was the first of the Trans-Pennine canals to be started and the last to be completed. The length and the complexity of the route meant that the canal took 46 years to build at a cost of five times the original budget.
The canal originates from a proposal in 1765 to construct a canal from Preston to Leeds to carry woollen goods from Leeds and Bradford and limestone from Skipton. Prospective backers in Lancashire argued for the canal to start from Liverpool.
The Canal Act passed in 1770 was for a route from Liverpool to Leeds via Parbold, Walton-le-Dale (just south of Preston), Colne and Skipton, with a branch from Burscough towards the River Ribble.
In 1773, the first part to open was the lock-free section from Skipton to Bingley. In 1777, the canal was open between Liverpool, Parbold and Gathurst, near Wigan. However, at this point all the funds had been spent and work came to a halt. By 1781 enough money was found to complete the branch to Wigan and the branch to Rufford.
The engineering of the canal is very different from other Trans-Pennine canals. Most of the locks are concentrated in groups with long level sections between. Tunnels and cuttings are avoided where possible with the canal following the contours round bends and loops. In some sections the distance between points by canal is twice the actual shortest distance.
The canal prospered through the nineteenth century and was used for carrying stone, coal and many other goods. The impact of the railway age was not as extensive as with other canals, but the coming of the lorry finally saw commercial traffic on the Leeds and Liverpool dwindling. Commercial traffic continued along the main canal until 1964. Regular work stopped in 1972 when the movement of coal to Wigan Power Station ceased.
Through the later part of the twentieth century, the leisure potential of the canal began to be appreciated and boatyards, marinas and boat hire companies have developed along the canal which is now very popular with boaters, partly for its stunning scenery and partly for the long lock-free sections that are ideal for cruising.
Most of all the villages, towns and beautiful scenery you pass through on this route make it perfect Geo-Caching territory…!
This is the first instalment of the a Canal Trail from Burscough to Parbold, the trail will be extended through to Appley Bridge soon to link caching opportunities from the West and East of Parbold Hill together.
This narrowing of the canal was the site of 'Brick Bridge' until 1922 linking Newburgh to Parbold. Nothing of the bridge remains today.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum