We’d walked along the Macclesfield Canal a wee while back, and today we headed along the Peak Forest Canal and down the 16 locks starting in Marple. It was lovely. Very picturesque and a great short walk with plenty of photo opportunities. We walked from lock 16 down to lock 1, enjoyed looking at The Marple Aqueduct, and then returned along the same path back to Marple.
The Aqueduct was opened in 1800 and is the tallest masonary arched aqueduct in the country. The River Goyt, over which the canal passes, is about 100 feet below. Adjacent to the aqueduct is the railway viaduct built by the MS&L Railway (Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway) in 1863.
Walking alongside the canal and enjoying how peaceful and relaxing it was made it hard to believe this was a hive of activity in the transport of freight from the quarries and mills in the area. There are large areas between the locks to accommodate many canal boats and you could imagine long queues of boats ascending and descending the locks. Now, there’s just the occasional pleasure craft.
I took my 16-35mm lens, which was ideal when trying to capture all of the viaduct. I must admit I was most impressed with the aqueduct. It never ceases to amaze me how these magnificent structures were created with hard labour and, by today’s standards, basic tools. Not only were these building well built, but they were most elegant, often quite beautiful and seem to fit or belong in their setting. The little cottages alongside the canal are rather lovely too. Definitely worth a visit.