SJ4077 : Whitby Locks, Shropshire Union Canal

taken 4 years ago, near to Whitby, Cheshire, Great Britain

Whitby Locks, Shropshire Union Canal
Whitby Locks, Shropshire Union Canal
These paired locks are part of a flight that take the Shropshire Union Canal down to the Manchester Ship Canal and are located within the National Waterways Museum site. Narrowboats are allowed to use the Ship Canal, but only by special arrangement and hire boats are certainly not permitted. So for most boaters the top of the locks is the end of the trip and time to turn back although there is plenty of interest here demanding a stop of at least a few hours. This end of the Shropshire Union is quite a contrast to the peaceful charm of Autherley Junction at the other end, some 66 miles away. See SJ9002 : Autherley Lock
The National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port
The National Waterways Museum is based in the historic canal docks at Ellesmere Port at the northern extremity of the Shropshire Union Canal where it enters the Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port.

The museum site consists of the former canal port which initially linked the Shropshire Union Canal with the River Mersey (before the Ship Canal was built). The canal port consisted of a system of locks, docks and warehouses, together with a pump and engine room all of which have been preserved and used within the museum. The port was designed by Thomas Telford under the direction of William Jessop and continued to function as a working canal port until the 1950s after which it gradually became derelict until it was taken over as “the North West Museum of Inland Navigation”, later “The Boat Museum” in the 1970s. In the 1990s The Waterways Trust took on the management of the National Waterways Museum. Funding from Heritage Lottery Fund helped create new displays and improve visitor facilities.

The museum contains the largest collection of canal boats in the world.

LinkExternal link National Waterways Museum website
The Shropshire Union Canal
The Shropshire Union Canal (from Autherley to Nantwich) was engineered by Thomas Telford and opened in 1835. There are long straight sections of this canal which required either embankments or cuttings to avoid the need for locks. Although this was a more difficult procedure, the end route was shorter and the progress for horse drawn working boats could be maintained with (hopefully) no stoppages. The canal (formerly the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal) was opened at a time when railways were making serious inroads into the canal companies' businesses.

The current Shroppie north of Nantwich was formerly the Chester Canal, opened in 1779, and has wider locks and bridges. Boats up to nine feet in beam can still navigate this section; Telford's canal accommodates only narrowboats up to seven feet in beam.
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SJ4077, 177 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 10 September, 2013   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 17 September, 2013
Geographical Context
Canals  Docks, Harbours 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 4057 7720 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:17.3051N 2:53.5772W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 4058 7716
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Lock  National Waterways Museum 

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