Report - - Acres Brook Culvert - Stalybridge - Oct 2013 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Acres Brook Culvert - Stalybridge - Oct 2013

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Acres Brook Culvert – Stalybridge



As with many sections of culverted rivers and streams there isn’t too much history. Acres Brook is a small tributary of the River Tame, the culverted section is approximately 500 meters long and varies from about 5ft high to 30” in places, the joys of the 30” section is 10” of it is under water.

It appears that Acres Brook wasn’t culverted in one go, there are at least 6 different sections where the profile and materials used differ. The earliest section I’d say is at Cheetham Mill which dates back to 1801. This is the start of the culvert where it drops 20ft down from Cheethams Mill reservoir (essentially the mill pond) and enters the tightest section of stone lined culvert. It appears that either repairs or modification has been undertaken to part of this section as there is now also a concrete section.

Below this various brick sections of different profiles have been added on, at some point in the early 1990’s the culvert was opened up during the redevelopment of the area when a Tesco store was built and the canal made navigable again. This 100 meter section was replaced with 5ft RCP (concrete pipe). The last 100 meter to the outfall is original brick lined culvert and runs under the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which was originally completed in 1811.

My Visit


I first popped my head in here about 10 months ago; I’d known about the outfall for a long time and had since found out where the culverted section started. My cunning plan was to drop the kids off at swimming and spend a quick hour in here as I thought it must all be just concrete pipe due to the amount of work that had gone on in the area in the 90’s and that would be it.

Alas I found the start was about 5ft diameter brickwork, which soon reduced to a 4ft diameter, this first 50 meters was very slippery and I could see the culvert reduced again further on, so a couple of photos and a retreat saw me explaining to the kids how I’d managed to get wet legs while watching them at swimming club!

It’s taken me 10 months to run out of excuses not to pay it another visit, so I finally headed back again with the odd plastic bag to try and keep the camera dry and a set of knee pads, even though I knew where the upper end of the culver was located I didn’t know if it was grilled as the pond is owned by a fishing club and access wasn’t that easy, this potentially meant 1000 meters of crawling I thought.

Now to get on with the report, this first section is what I’d been in before.


There are some nice formations on the sides as well as spiders on the roof.


Up ahead is the first narrowing of the culvert, this is where I bailed and slipped my way out last time.


There are about 5 of these manholes along the culvert, this one would have taken you into the Tesco carpark, there are 3 more in the concrete section and another one up near Cheetham Mill. The only evidence that I could find that someone had been up this before was Ojay saying he’d popped some lids in the Tesco carpark, I doubt there’s not many lids in Greater Manchester that Ojay hasn’t has a look down :D.


After the brief stand up; it’s back to stooping in the culvert.


This section had a nice little squirter.


Shortly after you enter the concrete section, and a few more areas that you could stand up in, not taken many photos here as I’m sure most have seen their fair share of concrete pipes.



Back into the original culvert again and another squirter, this was one of the higher sections upstream of the RCP.



There are a fair few smaller passages that intercept the main culvert, most are just small drains, this one was the most interesting and would be just about possible to squeeze up.


From here on the culvert is lined in local stone, the profile does change a few times which probably shows the various extensions over the years.


From here the small tight culvert suddenly gets a lot smaller and tighter.



And smaller again, I think this was probably the initial section of culvert under the mill.


It then opens up again with a bit of Heath Robinson repairs.


This section of the culvert ends at a concrete section with a 20 inch gap and at least 10 inch deep water to crawl through.


I turned around here as I didn’t fancy the last section of crawl not knowing if I could get out at the inflow. Besides that taking photos were taking forever waiting for the lens to demist each time I moved. I popped everything back in my now soggy collection of sandwich and bin bags and slid back to see what the inflow looked like.

I’m glad I didn’t persevere with the last short crawl as I’d have ended up 20ft below the pond and no way up at this end.

Looking back at the infall above Cheetham Mill.


Well that’s it. I did enjoy this one as the formations and change in profile make it interesting. The low stoopy and crawl sections adds to it as you have the time to enjoy the features as you slowly make progress up it.


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The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Balls of steel man! Noy many folks who could handle enclosed, dark, watery places like them! :)
It was one of the stoopyist culverts I've persevered with, worth it though for the upper sections :thumb

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