The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is 20 miles long and runs from Ashton-under-Lyne to Huddersfield connecting the Ashton Canal in the West to the Huddersfield Broad (Sir John Ramsden’s Canal) in the East.
Work building the Canal commenced in 1794 and though it was largely completed some five years later, the construction of 3.1 miles of Standedge Tunnel took a further eleven years. Passing under the Pennines between Diggle and Marsden, the Tunnel was, and remains today, the longest, highest (above sea level) and deepest (underground) canal tunnel in Britain. It also boasts the oldest navigable cast iron aqueduct in the country at Stalybridge, constructed by the renowned engineer, Benjamin Outram in 1801.
The Canal was officially opened for through navigation on the 4th April 1811.
The Canal operated for 140 years but most of it was officially abandoned in 1944. Although minor, local traffic continued into the 1950s, many sections were infilled by the early 1960s and later developed. What remained of the Canal fell into dereliction.
Now fully restored to through navigation, not only can boaters experience the challenge of this ‘Everest of the Canal System’, but it’s free for everyone else to enjoy; a fascinating linear park for all.
As the highest navigation, there are spectacular views
Much heritage remains