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DUKE OF BRIDGEWATERS UNDERGROUND CANALS

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  WORSLEY DELPH CANAL LEVEL
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Entrance to the Worsley Delph Canal Level. A complex system of underground canals, linked to the Bridgewater Canal, constructed for the conveyance of coal within Worsley Colliery. The coal seams ran under higher ground to the north of Worsley and the Duke's land agent, John Gilbert, saw that it was possible to connect the Bridgewater Canal directly to the mines by way of an underground canal. Running from the Delph at Worsley, work started in 1759 and by 1770 Walkden had been reached with Buckley Lane being reached in 1801. Around 50 miles of underground canals were constructed, on four different levels, connected by a water powered inclined plane and lifts. The main tunnels stretch as far north as Farnworth, with side tunnels running at right angles along the coal seams. The underground canals were last used to bringing out coal in 1887 after which they were used for mine drainage purposes. Following the closure of the last pit in the area, Mosley Common, in 1968, the underground canals were closed.

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