SJ7294 : Manchester Ship Canal, Irlam Locks

near to Irlam, Salford, Great Britain

Manchester Ship Canal, Irlam Locks
Manchester Ship Canal, Irlam Locks
The Irlam Locks provide a lift of 16 feet. Like the other locks on the Manchester Ship Canal, there are two locks. A large lock for ocean-going ships and a smaller, narrower lock for vessels such as tugs and coasters. This is the larger (600 x 65ft) lock.
The Manchester Ship Canal
The Manchester Ship Canal, which took six years to build and was opened in 1894, is a 36-mile-long inland waterway linking Manchester to the Irish Sea at Liverpool. It generally follows the original routes of the rivers Mersey and Irwell through the historic counties of Cheshire and Lancashire. Several sets of locks lift vessels about 60 feet up to the Manchester Docks (now Salford Quays), where the canal's terminus was built.

When the ship canal opened in January 1894 it was the largest river navigation canal in the world, and enabled the newly created Port of Manchester to become Britain's third busiest port despite the city being about 40 miles inland. Since its opening, the canal handled a wide range of ships and cargoes, from coastal vessels to intra-European shipping and inter-continental cargo liners; Manchester Liners established regular sailings by large ocean-going vessels.

The amount of freight carried by the canal peaked in 1958 at 18 million long tons but changes to shipping methods and the growth of containerisation during the 1970s and 1980s caused traffic to decline, resulting in the closure of the docks at Salford in 1984. Although able to accommodate a range of vessels from coastal ships to inter-continental cargo liners, the canal is no longer large enough for most modern vessels.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SJ7294, 53 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 14 March, 2011   (more nearby)
Friday, 18 March, 2011
Geographical Context
Suburb, Urban fringe  Canals 
Canal locks   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 7280 9418 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:26.6209N 2:24.6581W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 7277 9409
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North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Locks  Manchester Ship Canal 

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