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Canal Archive: Bridging the Years

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Bridging the Years explores the creation of Britain's first commercial waterway, the Bridgewater Canal, and the construction of the Manchester Ship canal over 100 years later. Daniel Adamson: one of the men behind the Construction of the Manchester Ship Canal

It also charts the subsequent development of the first planned industrial estate, Trafford Park, and the post war decline and rebirth of this unique waterfront as Salford Quays, a major commercial, residential and recreational centre.

Beginning of the Castlefield Basin Complex on the Bridgewater Canal
Montage of pages from the Bridging the Years stories

Visit the stories section of Bridging the Years to find out more details about the development of waterways in the North West of England.

Video of the Barton Swing Aqueduct in the multimedia section

The Bridgewater and Manchester Ship Canals cross at the Barton Swing Aqueduct. Visit the multimedia page for footage of it opening.

Visit the Bridging the Years Timeline

The Bridging the Years timeline shows the evolution of these historic canals and industrial developments.

View the Bridging the Years Maps

The maps section shows the impact of transport and industry upon the North West's landscape, past and present.

To search the thousands of images here, (e.g. dredger, barge or dock):

Search the Transport Archive

Images in Bridging The Years cannot be bought online through this website. Enquiries about any of these images should be directed in the first place to Trafford Council or City of Salford.

The links page contains a list of useful online resources that relate to the North West's canals and industrial heritage.
About us
Find out more about the Bridging the Years project, and the people and organisations contributed to it.
Link to De Montfort University Link to the New Opportunities Fund Link to the Enrich portal Link to Trafford Metropolitan Borough Link to City of Salford