Barton Swing Aqueduct

Barton Swing Aqueduct

Infobox Historic building



caption=The Barton Swing Aqueduct in the closed position
name=Barton Swing Aqueduct
location_town=Barton upon Irwell
location_country=England
map_type=Greater Manchester
latitude=53.474813
longitude=-2.350334
architect=
client=
engineer=Sir Edward Leader Williams
construction_start_date=
completion_date=1893
date_demolished=
cost=
structural_system=
style=Swing bridge
size=convert|330|ft|m| long

The Barton Swing Aqueduct is a moveable aqueduct in Barton upon Irwell in Greater Manchester, England. It carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal and allows the large vessels using the Manchester Ship Canal to pass by the canal. The aqueduct is a Grade II* listed building and is considered a major feat of Victorian civil engineering.cite web|title=Barton Swing Aqueduct |url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Details/Default.aspx?id=212993 |publisher=Images of England |accessdate=2008-01-20] cite web | title=Facts and Figures | work=Manchester Ship Canal | url=http://www.clydeport.co.uk/index.php?site_id=6&page_id=381 | accessdate=2007-10-01] Designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams and built by Andrew Handyside of Derby, it opened in 1894 and is regularly used to this day.

History

The Barton Swing Aqueduct was a direct replacement for the earlier Barton Aqueduct, a stone structure crossing the River Irwell. The original stone aqueduct was designed by James Brindley and dated to 1761; it was described as "one of the seven wonders of the canal age".Harvnb|Nevell|1997|p=135.] The construction of the Manchester Ship Canal in the 1890s necessitated the replacement of this structure, as the ships using the new canal would have been too large to pass under the original aqueduct. An alternative scheme involving the use of a double lock flight was not used, because of the need to conserve Bridgewater canal water. [Harvnb|Ryall|2000|p=686.]

The new aqueduct was designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams, engineer to the Manchester Ship Canal Company, and built by Andrew Handyside of Derby. It became operational in 1893 with the first barge crossing it on 21 August (Williams was also involved with the design of the region's other major 'moving canal' feat: the Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire). The aqueduct was commercially opened on 1st January 1894. [cite web|title=The Manchester Ship Canal: a brief history.. |url=http://www.clydeport.co.uk/cms_uploaded/MSC_History.pdf |format=PDF |publisher=Clydeport.co.uk |accessdate=2008-01-20]

Operation

The aqueduct is a form of swing bridge. When closed, it allows canal traffic to pass along the Bridgewater Canal. When large vessels need to pass along the Ship Canal, the convert|1450|MT|0 convert|330|ft|m| long iron trough is rotated 90 degrees on a pivot mounted on a small, purpose-built island in the Ship Canal. A gate at each end of the trough retains around convert|800|MT|0 of water; further gates on each bank retain water in their adjacent stretches of canal. The aqueduct once had a suspended towpath along its length however this has been removed in recent years on grounds of safety.

The island in the ship canal is also the pivot point and control centre for the swing road bridge so when boats pass on the ship canal, both are lined up along the island. The bridge is controlled from a brick control tower on this island. [Harvnb|Ryall|2000|p=686.]

References

Bibliography

*Citation |first=Mike |last=Nevell |date=1997 |title=The Archaeology of Trafford |publisher=Trafford Metropolitan Borough with University of Manchester Archaeological Unit |isbn=1-870695-25-9
*Citation|last=Ryall|First=M. J. |title=The Manual of Bridge Engineering |publisher=Thomas Telford | year=2000 | ISBN=0727727745 |url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8PGk81gtCywC&dq=bridgewater+canal&as_brr=3&client=firefox-a&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0
*Citation|last=Cossons|First=Neil|title=The Bp Book of Industrial Archaeology|publisher=David & Charles PLC|year=1987
*Citation|last=Fletcher|First=John C.|title=The History and Operation of Barton Swing Aqueduct|publisher=John & Margaret Fletcher|year=1992|isbn=0951905805

External links

* [http://www.canalarchive.org.uk/multimedia/index.php Videos of the Aqueduct in motion]
* [http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/bridgewater/bri30.htm Barton Swing Aqueduct]
* [http://www.bridgewatercanal.co.uk/home.html Bridgewater Canal]


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