Sunday, 17 August 2014

Harecastle Tunnel

We had a drive to Westport Lake and as there was little there decided to take a walk along the Canal Tow Path towards Kidsgrove, to Harecastle Tunnel, at over one and a half miles long James Brindley's Tunnel was the longest in the country, channeling through the granite and millstone grit of Harecastle Hill (hences the re-naming) took nearly 11 years with over 600 miners and masons working with explosives in a series of shafts along the line of the Tunnel hard rock and quicksand made tunneling difficult and flooding was a constant problem, such dangerous work meant that many of these early navigators lost their lives, Narrowboats have to travel through now a days in convoy but in early days because the horses would not go into such a dark tunnel it was left to the men to push the Narrowboat through with their legs and the horses were walked round to join them the other end, to stop any problem with fumes with the convoys one end of the tunnel is always closed off and a large extractor fan pulls the fresh air through the tunnel. The last picture below is the view looking back towards Westport Lake.


  1. Bin through, 44 years ago !!! I am getting bloody old !

  2. Hope it brought back some good memories though.