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Ellesmere Port | Chester | Bunbury| Barbridge Junction | Hurleston Junction | Nantwich | Audlem

The Shropshire Union Canal

Ellesmere Port to Autherley Junction (Staffs & Worcs Canal) 66½ miles, 46 locks
Barbridge to Middlewich (Trent Mersey Canal) 10 miles 4 locks

The main line runs from Ellesmere Port to Autherley Junction where it meets the Staffs and Worcester Canal. The Middlewich Branch leaves the mainline at Barbridge Junction and heads east to Middlewich to join the Trent and Mersey Canal. The Llangollen Canal joins the Shropshire Union at Hurleston Junction.
The canal passes near Brewood, Market Drayton, Audlem, Nantwich, and Chester. At Ellesmere Port is a boat museum with many historic boats and exhibitions and displays about working boats of the British canals.

As the name suggests the Shropshire Union Canal is a union of different canals: the Ellesmere Canal, the Chester Canal and the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal.

Click the photographs to see larger images and more information
blog blog blog      
Ellesmere Port Boat Museum

The Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port has many historic canal craft.

Ellesmere Port Boat Museum Ellesmere Port Boat Museum Ellesmere Port Boat Museum Ellesmere Port Boat Museum
Ellesmere Port Boat Museum A crane A Ferro-Concrete Barge FCB-18 Narrow Boats
The Ellesmere Canal: Wirral Line

The Ellesmere Canal linked Ellesmere in Shropshire with Netherpool by the Mersey, renamed Ellesmere Port. It used the Chester Canal between Chester and Hurleston.

Milepost Shropshire Union Canal Ellesmere Port Boat Museum Shropshire Union Canal: Bridge #147 Shropshire Union Canal:  M53
Milepost at Ellesmere Port Looking towards Ellesmere Port Bridge 147 under the M53
Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal: Shropshire Union Canal: Shropshire Union Canal: M53
Pipeline on the Towpath big sheds by the canal towards Stanlow Bridge #145 the M53
Industry by the Canal Shropshire Union Canal: Bridge 142 Stanney Mill Bridge #141 Shropshire Union Canal
Industry Bridge #142 Stanney Mill Bridge #141 Along the Canal
Shropshire Union Canal Bridge 140 Shropshire Union Canal Bridge 139 Shropshire Union Canal Bridge 138 Shropshire Union Canal
Masons Bridge #140 Meadow Lane Bridge #139 Denisons Bridge #138 Pylons
Shropshire Union Canal Bridge 137 Shropshire Union Canal Bridge 136 Shropshire Union Canal
Stoke Bridge #137 Along the Canal Picton Lane Bridge #136 Bridge # 135 through the M53
Shropshire Union Canal Caughall Bridge 134 Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal
Caughall Bridge #134 Way Marker Backford Bridge #133 Bridge 131A Chester Birkenhead Railway
Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal
Knolls Bridge #131 Along the Canal Mollington Bridge #130 The Mercian Way
Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal  
Bridge #129 Bridge 128 Canalside Trail  
Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Bridge 123L LTC Rolt
Boatbuilding Yard Graving Dock Under the bridge to the boat building yard LTC Rolt
  Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal
  The Iron Roving Bridge #126 The canal from the Roving Bridge Telfords Warehouse
The Dee Branch

The canal is connected to the River Dee via the Dee Branch

Canal Basins Chester Shropshire Union Canal Graving Dock Chester  
Basins Graving Lock Graving Lock  
Shropshire Union Canal   Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal
Lock Pound   Bridge Lock Bridge Lock
Shropshire Union Canal: Water Tower Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal
Water Tower Lift Bridge River Lock
see this lock as it was rebuilt in the 1960s
River Lock
The Chester Canal

Work started in 1772 and the Chester to Nantwich section was open in 1779 but the company collapsed in 1787 due to competition with the Trent and Mersey Canal. The canal was rescued by the building of the Ellesmere Canal.

Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal
From the City Walls Horse Rope Hook #123 Offices
Shropshire Union Canal Shropshire Union Canal Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks
Canal from the City Walls Locks from the City Walls Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks
Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks
Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks Northgate Staircase Locks
Chester 

Chester is a popular destination for boaters and tourists. The city is surrounded by the River Dee and the Shropshire Union Canal. It is famous today for its Rows, walls and the race course. There is a lot of history in Chester dating back to the Romans. The city walls are the perfect way to see the sights in Chester. There are some very nice pubs in Chester and the canal here is one of my favourite places on the English canal network.

Roman Chester St Johns Chester   Bridge of Sighs
Romans in Deva St Johns Church & Coffin   Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs, Chester,  The Shropshire Union Canal Northgate Canal at Chester Chester,  The Shropshire Union Canal
Bridge of Sighs Northgate Towards Northgate From Northgate
The Shropshire Union Canal, Rope Marks Chester Sandstone Cutting Chester
From the Walls From the Walls Rope Marks Sandstone Cutting
Former canal arm Under St Oswalds Way Former Flour Mill Union Bridge
  Hoole Lane Lock Hoole Lane Lock
  View from City Road Hoole Lane Lock Hoole Lane Lock
Hoole Lane Lock Chemistry Lock Tarvin Road Lock
Hoole Lane Lock By the Water Tower Chemistry Lock Tarvin Road Lock
Chester Canal Greenfield Lock Christleton Lock Bridge #122
Albatross on the move Greenfield Lock Christleton Lock Christleton Bridge #122
Christleton Mill Christleton Mill View from Rowton Bridge #120 Rowton Bridge #120
It is about 7 miles from Christleton to Bates Mill
Bates Mill Bridge, Shropshire Union Canal Bates Mill,  The Shropshire Union Canal Whartons Bridge,  The Shropshire Union Canal Wharton Lock  The Shropshire Union Canal
Bates Mill Bridge #109 from Bates Mill Bridge Whartons Bridge #108 Wharton Lock 7' 8"
Wharton Bridge, Beeston Castle,  The Shropshire Union Canal The Sandstone Trail,  The Shropshire Union Canal  The Shropshire Union Canal  The Shropshire Union Canal
Whartons Bridge with Beeston Castle The Sandstone Trail Cruising the Canal BW Tree Cutting
The Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal Beeston Iron Lock The Shropshire Union Canal Beeston Iron Lock The Shropshire Union Canal
Boats on the Canal Beeston Brook Bridge #107 Beeston Iron Lock
7' 0"
Beeston Iron Lock
Beeston Iron Lock The Shropshire Union Canal Beeston Iron LockThe Shropshire Union Canal A Norman 25 on The Shropshire Union Canal Beeston Stone Lock The Shropshire Union Canal
Beeston Iron Lock Beeston Iron Lock Norman 25 Beeston Stone Lock
Beeston Stone Lock The Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal Tilstone Mill Bridge, The Shropshire Union Canal
Beeston Stone Lock Lengthsman's Hut Along the Canal Tilstone Mill Bridge #106
Tilstone Mill Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal Tilstone Mill, The Shropshire Union Canal Tilstone Lock, The Shropshire Union Canal Tilstone Lock The Shropshire Union Canal
under Tilstone Mill Bridge Tilstone Mill
1838
leaving Tilstone Lock Tilstone Lock 9' 8"
Lengthsmans Hut, The Shropshire Union Canal Dawncraft Dandy, The Shropshire Union Canal    
Lengthsmans Hut Sunken Dawncraft    
Bunbury Locks

The locks at Bunbury are a two-rise stair case lock. There is a shop here and the old stables. At the bottom of the locks is a small basin that was used for boat maintenance. At the top of the locks is the former lock keepers cottage.  Nearby Bunbury Mill used to import corncake from the USA via Liverpool and the canal.

Bunbury Lock Bridge, The Shropshire Union Canal Bunbury Lock Bridge, The Shropshire Union Canal Bunbury Locks  The Shropshire Union Canal Bunbury Locks  The Shropshire Union Canal
Bunbury Lock Bridge #105 Bunbury Lock Bridge #105 Bunbury Lock 15' 7" Bunbury Lock
Bunbury Lock, The Shropshire Union Canal Bunbury Lock, The Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal Brick Kiln, The Shropshire Union Canal
Bunbury Lock Approaching Bunbury Lock The canal at Bunbury Brick Kiln
Brick Kilns on the Shropshire Union Canal Cruising on The Shropshire Union Canal Calveley Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal Calverley The Shropshire Union Canal
Brick Kilns The Shropshire Union Canal Calveley Bridge #104 Canal at Calveley
A Tree The Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal Goodwin Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal
a  tree Sunken Boat Bank Protection Goodwin Bridge #101
Barbridge Junction

This is where the Middlewich Branch meets the main line of the Shropshire Union Canal. The Middlewich Branch links the Shropshire Union to the Trent & Mersey Canal, giving access to Manchester.

The Middlewich Branch, The Shropshire Union Canal Barbridge The Shropshire Union Canal BarbridgeThe Shropshire Union Canal Barbridge The Shropshire Union Canal
Bridge 1 of the Middlewich Branch Remains of the warehouse that once crossed the canal here Canal Inspectors house Lock site Barbridge
Bremilows Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal Stoke Hall Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal Vickers Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal  
Bremilows Bridge #100 Stoke Hall Bridge #99 Vickers Bridge #98  
Hurleston Junction

At Hurleston Junction the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union Canal. This was originally part of the Ellesmere Canal linking the town of Ellesmere in Shropshire to Netherpool or Ellesmere Port on the Mersey.

Hurlseton Junction, The Shropshire Union Canal Hurleston The Shropshire Union Canal Hurleston The Shropshire Union Canal Hurleston The Shropshire Union Canal
Hurleston Locks Hurleston Hurleston Junction Stop Planks
Hurleston Roving  Bridge The Shropshire Union Canal      
Hurleston Roving Bridge #97      
Nantwich

Nantwich Basin is the terminus of the old Chester Canal. There is a boatyard, shop and cafe at the basin. The town centre is some distance from the canal basin. Nantwich was once the salt mining capital of Roman Britain. There are some Tudor buildings remaining, the town has seen a lot of new building in recent years.

Nanwich The Shropshire Union Canal      
Nantwich Junction Bridge #92      
The Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal 

The Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal links the old Chester and Ellesmere canals to the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. It gained its Act in 1825 and opened in 1835. It runs from Nantwich to Autherley Junction. It gave Liverpool a link to the Midlands. Unlike the older Chester Canal the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal was a narrow canal built for narrow boats.

Shropshire Union Canal      
Looking along the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal from bridge #92      
Audlem

It is about 6 miles from Nantwich to Audlem. Audlem is dominated by its church, St James parts of which date back to the late 13th Century. Audlem has a flight of 15 locks the town itself is at the bottom between the 12th and 13th locks. The Shroppie Fly is one of the most famous pubs on the canal network and is perfectly placed for a meal and drink next to the canal. There are two more pubs the Bridge Inn and Lord Combermere. The former warehouses by the canal have been sympathetically converted.

Approaching Audlem Moss Hall Bridge Audlem Bottom Lock 15 Shropshire Union Milepost
Lock 14 Lock 13 The Shroppie Fly Audlem The Bridge Inn Audlem
St James, Audlem Audlem Bridge #79 Rope Marks Lock 12
Lock 11 Lock 10 Lock 9 Lock 8
   
Lock 7 Snows Bridge #77    

 

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