Manchester Ship Canal antique print. “View on the Manchester Ship Canal – Mount Manisty,” original antique chromolithograph illustration from Cassell’s History of England published c.1890.
On this day 21st. May in 1894 The Manchester Ship Canal in the United Kingdom was officially opened by Queen Victoria, who later knighted its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.
The Manchester Ship Canal is a man-made inland waterway linking Manchester to the Irish Sea.
Manchester as a landlocked city believed itself to be held at ransom by the charges imposed by Liverpool’s docks and railway companies as excessive, as a result it campaigned for, and achieved, an Act of Parliament authorising a ship canal.
Construction began in 1887, running through Lancashire and Cheshire, taking six years, costing £15 million, and resulting in a canal 36 mile long.
Soon after opening the Port of Manchester establish itself as the third busiest port in Britain notwithstanding its location 40 miles from the sea!
At Barton upon Irwell, the Barton Swing Aqueduct carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Ship Canal.
The Ship Canal also has seven swing road bridges five high-level railway viaducts, and four high-level road bridges.
As well as the aqueduct, the Manchester Ship Canal has seven swing road bridges, five high-level railway viaducts, four high-level road bridges and several locks to raise ships the sixty-foot rise from sea level to Manchester.
It also passes Mount Manisty a large hill located between the Canal and the River Mersey. A hill created by the builders of the Ship Canal by depositing the earth excavated during the building of the ship canal between Eastham and Ellesmere Port.