Manchester Ship Canal Size report

The Manchester Ship Canal is a canal located in Manchester, England, northwest England, connecting Manchester with the Irish Sea. The Manchester Canal is an artificial sea canal that runs westward from Manchester to the Irish Sea, starting from the River Mercy.

The history of the Manchester Canal can be traced back to the 17th century and has played a huge role in the history of Manchester's industrial development. Construction of the canal started on August 5, 1885, and it was officially put into use on January 1, 1894, allowing large oceangoing freighters to sail directly into Manchester.

Today, more than 100 years later, the transportation function of this golden waterway in the industrial age has been replaced by tourism and cultural functions. This post will teach more interesting facts about the Manchester Ship Canal.

History of the Manchester Canal

In the 16th century, Manchester developed into the center of the cotton textile industry in the United Kingdom, an important transportation hub and a commercial, financial and cultural center. In 1660, the English civil engineer Thomas Steers first proposed the idea of navigating the Mersey and Owen Rivers from the Mersey Estuary in the west to Manchester in the east. Construction of the Manchester Grand Canal began in 1724 and was undertaken by the Mersey & Irwell Navigation Company. The Manchester Canal was opened to navigation in 1894. Sea ships can reach the city through the Manchester Canal, allowing the newly created Port of Manchester to become England's third busiest port despite being 64km inland.

Manchester Ship Canal Size

The Manchester Ship Canal, waterway opened in 1894 linking Eastham, Merseyside, Eng., to the city of Manchester. The canal made Manchester accessible to large oceangoing vessels. It stretches for 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Eastham, on the southern shore of the Mersey estuary 6 miles from Liverpool. The canal is 14–24 meters (45–80 feet) wide, and varies in depth from about 9 meters (28 to 30 feet); there are a total of five locks.

Other features

The canal is not considered a leisure waterway and the incompatibility of large ships and small boats means that hired vessels are not usually permitted. Boat owners must seek permission to use the canal from the Manchester Ship Canal Company, proving that their boat is seaworthy, insured and has the required safety equipment on board. Information about the requirements is on the official website. As commercial traffic has decreased, the regulations have become less onerous.

Nowadays, the fascinating Manchester Ship Canal round-trip Cruises sail from Liverpool and Wirral, travel along the captivating Manchester Ship Canal to the historic Latchford Locks and back, giving you the opportunity to experience a round-trip in the same day. The canal is a commercial shipping channel and cruises may delay for reasons beyond the control.

Final Words

The Manchester Ship Canal is one of the UK’s most vibrant trading hubs. More and more people spend their holidays in Manchester and relax during traveling under bridges since they were built over 125 years ago and experience the rich legacy of Victorian architecture and engineering masterpieces like the Grade II listed Runcorn Rail Bridge and the Latchford High Level Bridge. And you will learn more about the history of the canal and landmarks in the city if you take a cruise trip.


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