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Historic Route - The Barnsley CanalBackground
The Barnsley Canal ran from Barnby Basin, to the west of Barnsley, on through the town, crossing the River Dearne by an aqueduct and then, heading northwards, eventually joining the River Calder in Wakefield.
Click here for a map of the entire canal, and here for the Walton section, both circa 1839.
■ For more pictures, select 'Barnsley Canal' in the main menu on the left.

The Barnsley Canal received its Act of Parliament in 1793 and the first section was opened in 1799.   It owed its existence to the many coal mines of South Yorkshire (then part of the West Riding) and flourished until the coming of the railways affected trade and it eventually began to decline. Originally owned by the Barnsley Canal Company, although the Aire & Calder undertakers were behind the creation of the canal, it later came under the ownership of the Aire & Calder Navigation.

The canal survived into the 20th Century only to be officially closed in 1953 following nationalisation.

 

Click to enlarge

A history of the canal is contained in "The Barnsley Canal - A Forgotten Waterway?" (see links page). Much of the canal route in Walton is filled in and even built upon.

The long term restoration of the canal is mentioned in the Wakefield Local Development Framework.

At present, some stretches contain enough water for fishing and the towpath makes pleasant walking. The Trans Pennine Trail and National Cycle Route 67 run along much of the route.

Photograph
The Barnsley Canal at Haw Park Bridge, Stoneheaps, Sike Lane, Walton, early 20th century.
[Courtesy John Goodchild Collection]

informationVisit the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust for more information about the canal.

Click to enlarge


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