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Report - Whittle Canal Tunnel, Lancashire, May 2012

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Bovine, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Bovine

    Bovine 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Oct 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The Lancaster Canal was to originally run from Westhoughton near Wigan to Kendal, allowing the movement of coal northwards and limestone south. It was never one canal, because the Ribble valley would have meant an impossibly expensive set of 27 locks and an aquaduct. The solution was to have two sections, with a tramway connecting. By 1799 the southern section was up and running but almost all of it was then incorporated into the Leeds and Liverpool canal, leaving a 3 mile stub. Commercial traffic lasted on this arm until the 1930's but the real killer was the M61, which resulted in the blocking off of the route, just after it diverged from the Leeds and Liverpool at Walton Summit.
    A tunnel had to be dug at Whittle-le-Woods to bring the canal to the edge of the Ribble Valley, but geological problems forced the middle section to be made into a deep cutting. These 2 tunnels are Grade 2 Listed, with fine stonework and a stubby bit of drained canal remains, now going nowhere!

    Quite well hidden entrance

    Looking back, with little water but bottomless mud!

    The first tunnel length

    Fine stonework, but the lack of a towpath and sinking in the mud precluded further progress!

    This bridge marks the end of the tunnel bit.

    Trying to access the other end was met by this!

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