Barton Road Swing Bridge & Barton Swing Aqueduct
Barton Swing Aqueduct is without doubt a masterpiece of Victorian civil
engineering and is now classed as a Grade II listed
The first and only swing aqueduct in the world, it
was built by Andrew Handyside of Derby, designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams and opened in
The Barton Swing
Aqueduct allows the Bridgewater Canal to flow over the Manchester
In its 'closed'
position the Barton Swing Aqueduct allows waterborne traffic on the Bridgewater Canal to pass over the Manchester Ship Canal. When large waterborne
vessels on the Manchester Ship Canal want to pass, the Barton Aqueduct rotates 90 degrees on a small
purpose-built island to its 'open' position.
There are gates
at either end of the aqueduct and also on either bank of the Bridgewater Canal preventing the water from flooding
out of both the canal and the Barton Aqueduct itself.
I should imagine
there was much holding of breath the first time it ever actually swung to the open position. I think it's safe to
say that it has definitely stood the test of time!
The Barton Road
Swing Bridge and the Barton Swing Aqueduct are both operated from a brick control tower. The three structures are
all on the same purpose-built island and when both swing structures are in the open position they line up
along the length of the island leaving channels to either side allowing the waterborne traffic to
There is a main
channel for bigger ships and a narrower north channel for small vessels.
Swing Aqueduct replaced an earlier stone aqueduct that was completed in 1761 to pass over the River Irwell that the
Manchester Ship Canal utilised for part of its length.
Wikipedia is a
rich source of information about both the Barton Swing Aqueduct and the Manchester Ship Canal
Barton Swing Aqueduct Over the Manchester
Barton Swing Aqueduct Viewed From Barton Road
Barton Road Swing
Bridge Viewed From the Grounds of All
Saints Franciscan Friary
Boland Image No-60883
Barton Road Swing
Bridge Redclyffe Road
Boland Image No-60889