Home Miscellaneous Contact
Portland Basin, Ashton under Lyne

The boat is leaving Portland Basin and heading down the Peak Forest Canal towards Cheshire.

This is Portland Basin which is the junction of the Ashton Canal (west), the Huddersfield Narrow Canal (east) and the Peak Forest Canal (south).

The large building in the background is a former warehouse which now houses a museum. Click this link for information and click this link for pictures from the museum.

The Pottinger Street bridge in the West End of Ashton. The path on the top right (with the railings) runs alongside the canal towpath and to a footbridge over the railway sidings near Guide Bridge station. It then continues alongside the railway lines and ends near the station car park on Guide Lane.

At the left hand end of the bridge is Pottinger Street and what was the site of Gartside’s Brookside brewery. The brewery as it was can be seen in this link and the pubs it supplied seen in this link.

The white building in the distance is Oakglade House. After a failed redevelopment and the appearance of scaffolding outside the building, what’s happening to it is anyone’s guess.

The way to travel on a summer’s day.

The canal through Ashton and up to Stalybridge is fairly level and industrialised. Heading towards Yorkshire from Stalybridge, it becomes more scenic and starts to rise, hence the need for locks along the way.

Although the engineers of old have long since gone, their legacy is still with us and canals and their locks are examples of this. For an interesting read on locks, click here.

Because the use of locks drains water from the canal, the canal needs reservoirs to keep it topped up. One such reservoir, Swellands near Marsden, burst in 1810 with several fatalities.

At its highest point, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has to cross the Pennines and doing this led to the construction of the Standedge tunnel, this being the tunnel entrance in Diggle.

The blue plaque at the entrance reads as follows:

Thomas Telford, 1757-1834, whose skills ensured the completion of the Diggle Flight and the Standedge Tunnel

The canal tunnel is one of four tunnels at that location, the other three being railway tunnels. For further information on the tunnels, click this link.

The ‘Cornwall’ narrow boat chugging through Ashton, presumably on its way back to base at Sowerby Bridge.

For a bit of information on the boat, click on this link.


The canal at night. Note the towpath lights.

Most of the towpath has been surfaced in recent years, making it much better for pedestrians and cyclists. The lights, which were installed at the same time, use daylight to charge their batteries and light up when it gets dark.