Other places along the canal:


High Lane

Higher Poynton






Scholar Green

Kent Green

Hall Green

Red Bull

For places of interest away from the canal look at Offline interests and Pubs.

Reservoirs & feeders



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Beard's wharf, Bollington, 1977

On the Macclesfield canal between Bollington aqueduct and bridge 27. The boat Hebble under the business name of Birtles & Morris, Runcorn, was pictured in 1977 delivering coal to local houses. The boatman was actually a young lady.

The timber yard is on Beard's Wharf (see wharves pages) and closed in 1998. New houses are being built here (2017).

Bridge 26A footbridge has been built by Clarence mill off the picture to the left.

The first sight of Bollington is of Clarence Mill. This enormous stone building (the largest mill in Bollington) dates from 1831 and has been extended several times since. It was built, like the other big mills in Bollington, to spin cotton. The raw cotton was brought from Liverpool docks up the River Irwell to Manchester then via the Rochdale, Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals. The cotton thread was then sent to other mills in Lancashire to be woven into finished cloth. Waterhouse Mill (now demolished) was said to spin the finest (thinnest) cotton in the world and it was sought after by lace makers everywhere including Nottingham and Brussels.

Clarence Mill and bridge 26AClarence mill today houses Bollington's Discovery Centre, right on the water side, almost next door to the Café Waterside, and the fascinating oriental carpet and decorative nomadic items store, The Weave, is round the side of the mill, accessible directly from footbridge 26A and up the road beside the mill.

There is good mooring to rings on Lord Vernon's Wharf on the embankment at Bollington. Coal once was unloaded here and thrown down the embankment which provided staithes (remains still visible under the trees) where the coal was stored before being loaded into carts and barrows for local delivery. Walk to the aqueduct and look down on the old part of the town; look up at Kerridge Hill to the building known as White Nancy. This is thought to have been built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo (1815), but the origin of the name is a mystery; there are many stories but not a shred of evidence for any of them! White Nancy is ¾ mile uphill from br.27 (take the footpath on left just past Poplar Drive, straight through Gleave Avenue, down the footpath, left at Chancery Lane, keep right, take the footpath into the field at the start of Cow Lane), follow your nose.

Aqueduct Cottage was, until it lost its licence in about 1905, the Navigation ale house, and the canal horses resided in stables beneath. Walk carefully down the Hole i' th' Wall Steps beside the aqueduct to visit the many shops and pubs. Look at the river Dean which runs in a tunnel deep under the canal - see it in the park or over the bridge in Water Street. Incidentally, Water Street is widely known for its fantastic displays of window boxes and hanging baskets in June and July. In the park notice the foot bridge just by the tunnel mouth - this was built as an aqueduct to carry water from the River Dean through the village to a water powered corn mill. Today's path used to be the leat.

Pass Hurst Lane wharf, thought originally to have been jointly Beard's Wharf and Arnfield's Wharf, where three generations of the Needham family had their timber yard for 85 years but is now a new housing development, and Kerridge Bridge, no. 27, and on to Adelphi wharf. The building on top of Grimshaw Lane aqueduct was once a stable for the canal boat horse that plied between Adelphi and Clarence mills. There is another stable opposite Clarence mill, alas now derelict.

Beyond stands Adelphi mill, another enormous relic of a bygone age dating from 1856, but one that is today full of thriving modern businesses. Boats are fitted out opposite on the site of the Macclesfield Canal Company's wharf and warehouse - notice the remains of the quayside crane. Just by Green's Bridge, no. 28, behind the canal side houses is the site of the long demolished Beehive cotton mill. Opposite, nature lovers will enjoy a walk in Tinkers Clough, a wet woodland nature area laid out with an access path and decking across the stream.

On the off side immediately to the south of br.28 are the remains of Lomas's Bobbin mill, now part of the garden of Bobbin Cottage. You can just make out the base of the mill chimney. This was one of two bobbin mills in Bollington providing the tens of thousands of bobbins required by the cotton mills throughout the town.

Another quarter mile brings us to Kerridge Dry Dock (01625-574287). Rescued from dereliction by John Jackson in the early 1980's, the dock provides an important service for boat owners from far and wide. The land around the dock was once occupied by canal side businesses such as stone cutting and dressing, and a farrier. The driveway to the dock was once the route of the tramway known locally as the 'Rally' Road (railway road). This came from the quarries on Kerridge hill and began with the very steep Victoria incline followed by a lesser slope all the way to the canal. A steam engine was located at the top to manage it all. Plenty of footpaths enable visitors to see what remains.

Almost opposite the dry dock is the point at which the canal breached on leap day, 29th February 1912. This swept water through Tinkers Clough, probably across the railway yard, through the gas works extinguishing the furnaces and into the streets around the Waggon & Horses inn, now the Bayleaf Restaurant.

Clarke Lane change bridge no. 29 gives access to the west to the Middlewood Way and to the Lord Clyde inn, whilst to the east the road winds back to Kerridge.

Next page - Macclesfield.