A Walk along Rochdale Canal Manchester, UK

February 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm (Focus II) ()

I went on the field trip visit to Manchester specifically to look at and observe canals. this is to help me and also to motivate me with my current project I’m working on called the Wey and Arun canal in Surrey.
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The Wey and Arun canal is presently undergoing major restoration. The point of going to the Rochdale Canal is to help me understand the infrastructure of how canals are being Incorporated within certain areas and also what makes them attract people to use it.
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Rochdale canal
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The Rochdale Canal is a 33 miles long canal that lies between Manchester and Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire, UK.
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Rochdale canal
In Manchester it connects with the Ashton and Bridgewater Canals while in Sowerby Bridge it links both the Calder and Hebble Navigation as shown below:

source: http://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/images/maps/11_rochdale_580x326.png

Walking along the canal, i observed, the canal runs through an urban environment which was very exciting because the canal side where like a shield away from the noisy busy city. I t was very quiet, relaxing and peaceful.

Built areas around canal

Another thing i noticed is the fact that the canal runs very close to retails areas like shopping malls and cafes. I am positive that the canal experience along the particular part of the canal feels very intimate. It is a shame i wasn’t able to go on a boat trip due to the bad weather. The photo below shows a good example of it:

Canal running next to a shopping mall & cafe

Along the canal are beautiful rustic features, for example:

  • The Railway bridge over the canal at Castlefield as shown below is a beautiful infrastructure that has been preserved and maintained its historic context too.

Railway arches over canal

  • An Empty narrow boat feature along the canal: I thought this was very interesting because it has made me to understand the size and scale of a narrow boat. when i look at narrow boats it looks very small but its not as small as we all think it is. Here is a picture to see its spatial composition as shown below:

Empty narrow boat

  • Very old Locks: Locks are the usually found on most canals but in Manchester the old conventional locks are still been maintained.
Locks on Rochdale canal
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In conclusion, this has helped me to understand the scale of canals and its also to look at canals in another view. Its amazing the fact that the canal are in the city but while walking along the canal side it still feels like a rural area even the fact that most of the edges are hard and constructed; which i find very interesting. i want to adopt this to my current project giving it both an urban and a rural experience at the same time
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