Other places along the canal:


High Lane

Higher Poynton






Scholar Green

Kent Green

Hall Green

Red Bull

For places of interest away from the canal look at Offline interests and Pubs.

Reservoirs & feeders


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Macclesfield to Bosley

Clarke Lane Bridge, no. 29, is a change line bridge, sometimes known as a snake bridge. This is the point where the towing path moves over to the east side of the canal and the objective of the bridge is to enable the horse to cross over without having to untie it from the boat. There are six of these on the canal, two at Marple, one each north and south of Macclesfield and two at Congleton, in each case to take the towing path away from the towns' wharves.

Wood's Bridge, no. 30, was the first to be restored by The Macclesfield Canal Society. By the early 1980's it was in a very derelict state with no parapets remaining. It still sported a war time concrete tank trap! This was removed and the missing stonework reinstated. Today the bridge looks as good as new.

In the next half mile, beside the AstraZeneca plant, notice the three bridge holes which once had swivel bridges across them, but now long since gone. Three bridges but accounting for only two bridge numbers. Don't ask! The canal is entering the conurbation of Macclesfield with a mixture of industry, housing and the odd green space. At Chapel-en-le-Frith Bridge, no. 34, we are in Hurdsfield which provides easy access to Macclesfield. The canal always remains aloof from Macclesfield - there is always a half mile walk to the town centre whichever bridge you choose.


Br 37

The centre of town from the canal point of view is Buxton Road Bridge, no. 37, where there is plenty of casual mooring. On the northwest side is the original Macclesfield Canal Company wharf, still awaiting re-development. On the southwest side is Macclesfield Canal Centre (01625-420042) with its popular moorings and boat services. Here, too, stands the impressive restored Hovis Mill. This was where, from 1898-1904, the flour for Hovis bread was first milled in its distinctive way and distributed to bakers for baking into the well known loaf. After a period of dereliction the building has been converted into apartments. Notice the lovely frill of decorative cast iron fencing along the top and the clerestory windows above.

Macclesfield to Bosley

Continuing south the canal passes the deep Richmond Hill cutting, which was originally planned to be a tunnel, round the corner into the country, where bridge 42 used to be, and then under Foden Bank Bridge, no. 43, another change line bridge, and reaches Gurnett or Sutton aqueduct. The canal was rebuilt here during winter 1996/7 and the result is 300m of perfect mooring space. This is now one of the most popular overnight stops, and not least for the facility of The Olde King's Head just below!

James Brindley remembrance stone

100 metres towards Sutton from Sutton (Gurnett) Aqueduct (south of br.43) you will find a stone on the front of a building on the left which recalls James Brindley with the words:

On These Premises
1733 - 1740
James Brindley
The Famous Civil Engineer
And Canal Builder, Served
As Apprentice To Abraham

Brindley was born at Tunstead, north-east of Buxton in Derbyshire. His apprenticeship trained him to be a millwright - a builder of all kinds of wind and water powered mills, but he is best known for his canal building which he took up later in life. How extraordinary that the last narrow canal built should have passed the very building where Brindley, the engineer who started it all, learnt his trade almost 100 years before. Further information on Brindley [Statue], [Family tree].

... into the country

Leek Old Road Bridge, no. 44, which carried the original Macclesfield/Leek road, is another superbly built skew bridge. On your way to Leek New Road Bridge, no. 45, the views back towards Macclesfield Forest and the Pennine foothills of the Peak District National Park are particularly enjoyable, especially in evening sunlight. The prominent hill to the left of the valley is Tegg's Nose and the high one to the right is Shutlingsloe. On the distant horizon can be seen the Cat & Fiddle inn, at about 510 metres, the second highest in England.

Br 47Broadhurst Swing Bridge, no. 47, is the very last of the many original manually operated swivel bridges on the canal and was partially restored by The Macclesfield Canal Society in the early 1990's. In autumn 1998 it was reinstalled after a full refurbishment at BW’s Northwich yard and at last back in full working order.

A mile further on, where the Leek Road runs beside the canal, notice the lengthman's cottage on the towing path side. For many years the only connection with the road had been via a very precarious moveable pontoon bridge. In autumn 1998 the pontoon was replaced by a fixed pedestrian bridge, no. 48A. Across the road here is Sutton reservoir, the smaller of the two reservoirs that directly feed the canal. The adjacent road was constructed at the same time as the canal to replace the earlier and steeper road that passes the upper end of the reservoir.

At Oakgrove we have the only roadway swing bridge across the canal, Royal Oak, no. 49. This has been modernised in recent years and is now entirely power operated. Adjacent is a very popular mooring place. Across the main road is the Fool's Nook inn. Unfortunately this has had a difficult history in recent years and is presently closed, future uncertain.

This is possibly the best place from which to visit Gawsworth Hall (01260-223456) and village, about two miles to the west.

Once away from the main road, the last mile and a half to Bosley top lock is one of the most pleasurable stretches anywhere on the canal - quiet, green, undulating fields, with regular views over the Cheshire plain - that's Wales on the other side!

Extra - Reservoirs and feeders

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