The Ashton Canal runs eastwards from Manchester to Ashton under Lyne. It links the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Peak Forest Canal with the Rochdale Canal and Bridgewater Canal and forms part of the "Cheshire Ring".
The original scheme was completed in 1796, running from a large basin behind what is now Piccadilly Station in Manchester, climbing gradually eastwards via 18 locks to Fairfield, Droylsden. From there one level section continued eastward to Whitelands Basin, Ashton under Lyne, while another arm headed north through what is now Daisy Nook, climbing another eight locks to Hollinwood, with a branch running east from Daisy Nook towards Park Bridge. A short arm from Portland Basin crossed the River Tame to Dukinfield. A year later an additional branch from Clayton to Stockport was opened.
The Peak Forest Canal, opened in 1800, joined the Ashton Canal by way of the Dukinfield spur across the aqueduct over the Tame at Portland Basin.
This stretch is just west of the Portland Basin. Behind the high black fence on the right is the Riverside Industrial Estate accessed by an old brick bridge which is being replaced by a wider skew bridge.
In the background is Junction Mill chimney. The octagonal chimney, 210 feet (64m) high with an unusual tulip-shaped top was built in 1867 to serve Samuel Heginbottom's cotton-spinning mill which operated from 1831 to 1930. The mill itself was eventually demolished and replaced in recent years with canalside apartments called "Boatmans Walk". In 2000 the chimney was bought by Tameside Council and restored.
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