WORSLEY

1830

BOOTH TOWN

Booth Town, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 8 miles W. from Manchester.

BRIDGEWATER CANAL

Bridgewater Canal. This celebrated work, which will remain a lasting memorial of the enterprise and perseverance of Francis Egerton, the last duke of Bridgewater, and of the genius of his engineer Mr. Brindley, as it was one of the earliest, so it is also one of the most meritorious specimens of artificial navigation in England, and has proved equally beneficial to the projector and to the public, affording an immense revenue to the legatees of the former, and operating by its example as a powerful stimulus on the latent energies of the kingdom. The duke of Bridgewater possessing an extensive property at and near Worsley, rich in coal, which could not by land carriage be conveyed to Manchester so advantageously as that from the pits of other proprietors to the south and east of the town, he projected the present mode of conveyance, and obtained acts of parliament, in the years 1758 and 1759, enabling him to carry a canal from Worsley to Salford, and also to Hollin Ferry on the Mersey, and secondly to deviate from that course, and carry his canal from Worsley across the river Irwell to Manchester, through the township of Stretford. At its upper extremity at Worsley the canal forms a large basin, and an entrance is made in a hill by an arched passage, wide enough for the admission of long flat - bottomed boats, of about seven or eight tons burden, which are towed by means of hand rails on each side. This passage penetrates nearly three - quarters of a mile before it reaches the first coal works. It then divides into two channels, diverging to the right and left, which have been continued in various branches. Perpendicular air holes are cut at certain distances through to solid rock. The entrance at the basin is highly picturesque, reminding the spectator of the 'specus horrendum et saevi spiracula Ditis' of the poet. It was the principle of Mr Brindley to keep his canals as much of a level as possible; it became necessary, therefore, to carry them over roads and streams upon arches, and to fill up valleys by artificial mounds, as well as to cut down and bore through hills. The most striking of these aqueducts in the Bridgewater Canal is that over the river Irwell at Barton Bridge, which, being the first of the kind ever seen in England, excited universal admiration. The canal is thence conveyed without locks by a circuitous tract of nine miles to Castlefield near Manchester, over the swampy ground of Trafford Moss, a labour infinitely exceeding that of constructing the aqueduct, but, not being so immediately visible to the eye, has not received the same portion of applause. This canal at its termination is fed by the river Medlock. Contiguous to Manchester there is a communication with the Mersey and Irwell navigation, and the Bolton and Bury Canal, by means of the Medlock; and under the town is a tunnel by which the Bridgewater Canal unites with the Rochdale and Ashton Canals. In its course near Worsley, and at some other places, small channels are opened from the bottom of the canal for the purpose of letting water out to irrigate the land in its vicinity. Before the work was completed a plan had opened itself to the duke, of cutting a branch from it which should run through Cheshire paralled to the Mersey, and terminate in that river below the limits of its artificial navigation, and thus afford a new and rival water carriage from Manchester to Liverpool. Thus scheme was begun to be put in execution in 1761; and this canal, branching from the former at the distance of three miles from Manchester, passes over the low grounds in the township of Stretford, upon a vast mound of earth of great length and of wonderful construction; it leaves the county of Lancaster by an aqueduct bridge across the Mersey, somewhat lower than that at Barton, as the river is not in this part navigable. The canal then traverses Cheshire till it falls into the Mersey at Runcorn Gap, from an elevation of 95 feet, by a series of locks; having thus no impediment in its course, the voyage is much speedier and more certain than that of the Irwell and Mersey River navigation with its numerous locks and weirs. These canals reduced the price of carriage one half, and introduced a mode of conveyance hitherto unattempted in England, in imitation of the Dutch Treckschuyts, which, to persons not in a hurry, affords a very pleasant transit at a reasonable rate. In 1795 an extension of the duke's canal from Worsley to Leigh was commenced, which being afterwards continued to Wigan by the proprietors of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, thus opened a junction with that great undertaking, affording a prodigious communication not only with the north of England, but even with the German Ocean. 

ELLENBROOK

Ellenbrook, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 4 miles E. from Manchester. Here is a small episcepal chapel.

LITTLE HOUGHTON

Houghton, Little, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 5 miles N.W. from Manchester.

NEWTOWN

Newton, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 4 miles N.W. from Manchester.

SHAVING LANE

Shaving Lane, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 7 miles W.N.W. from Manchester.

SWINTON

Swinton, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 5 miles W.S.W. from Manchester. In this place is a chapel of ease.

WALKDEN MOOR

Walkden Moor, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 7 miles N.W. from Manchester. Under this spot are the valuable coal mines belonging to the Bridgewater estate.

WORSLEY

Worsley, a township in the parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 6 miles W.N.W. from Manchester. Inhabitants 7191, this township is remarkable for its coal mines, and as being the original spot whence the system of inland navigation was commenced by the Duke of Bridgewater. Worsley Hall, the seat of R.H. Bradshaw, esq., is a spacious brick mansion delightfully situated, in which the late duke of Bridgewater passed much of his life. The preserves in this demesne are abundantly stocked with game, and the animals fearlessly present themselves to the eye of the spectator.

WALKDEN MOOR

Walkden Moor, a hamlet in the township of Worsley, parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, 7 miles N.W. from Manchester. Under this spot are the valuable coal mines belonging to the Bridgewater estate.

(3) The New Lancashire Gazetteer or Topographical Dictionary 1830