Marple Locks and Roman Lakes
Marple Locks and Roman Lakes Cheshire Reviews
Nice attraction Mar 03, 2014
I visited the Flight of Canal Locks at Marple, of which there are sixteen, situated on the Peak Forest Canal and part of the Cheshire Ring.The sixteen locks have to rise to a high of 209 feet (64 m) over the course of about a mile (1.6 km). Constrution of the lock was started 1796 for use of the mills and traders, but the main man behind the development of this stretch canal and industry of the surrounding area was Mr. Samual Oldknow, for it was he and cotton mills that provided this area with most of its work force, the Canal was completed in 1804. And Samual was to be one of first people to navigate the lock system in his boat named ‘Perseverance’ a fitting name for this man’s many endeavors.
In the early days before the Barge boats were motorised, it was the job of the Shire Horses and the Crew to power the barges,and in some places, like tunnels, the horses could no longer pull the barges so they had to be led over or under any obstuctions, then the other men on the boat would take over moving the barge by using there feet against the walls of the tunnels to guide it through. A simular exercise here at Lock number 13 had to undertaken, with the horse having to be led through its own little tunnel, as the barges made for the lock entry.
In 1865 Railways were introduced to the area which where to see the demise of the commercial carrying on the Canal’s, they survived up until the1910s, but due to the on set of WWI a quicker means of transport was required. And by the the turn of 1945 after WWII many canal’s had became dilapidated and here in Marple this was to be the fate of the locks and by the early 1960s the flight had become impassible. Pressure in the late 1960s from the Inland Waterways Association, who wanted to save this Canal as part of the Cheshire Ring, resulted in the restoration and re-opening of the Lock flight in 1974. To date these locks have remained open...but were actually closed the day visited for REPAIR...that why I have no pictures of any Barges on the canal...lol.
My visit here was coupled by a walk not to far from the canal, down into the valley that lies the other side, where there are several small lakes formed by the river goyt and called Roman Lakes. Marple is known to have History of Roman links but not occupation, the lakes here do not hold any known connection with Roman times, the Title ‘Roman’ was given by the Victorian’s to attract more visitors to the area, which it did seem to do. Sadly Visitors are less abundant these days, but in a way this is better as the nature and wildlife down here is more natural nowadays
Part of the The Cheshire Ring Canal (Route by Route) travel blog
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