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Walton - Wakefield - West Yorkshire
Squire Charles Waterton the Naturalist
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Soap House Bridge
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Walton Hall Bridge
Haw Park Bridge
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Blue Bridge
Canal Route Map


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Walton contains the remains of an English engineering triumph - the now disused Barnsley Canal, in use in Walton until 1952. Just one of the many canals that were built in the 18th and 19th centuries throughout the country. The Barnsley Canal was by no means the most important or greatest of the canals, but it was an achievement in its own right. The canal ran from the River Calder in Wakefield, through rich coal mining country to Barnsley and then crossing the River Dearne by a magnificent aqueduct to Barnby Basin, west of Barnsley.

The main sections of the canal were filled in 1956. Some long serving villagers can remember playing in the canal in their youth, and for a pint, will probably be glad to repeat their stories. Times change and much of the canal has disappeared almost without trace.

Unlike other areas of the country where, with an eye on leisure use, the canals have been and are being restored (even some new cuttings made), there are no signs that the Barnsley Canal itself will ever be restored to a navigable state in this area (but see Awash With Hope to the right). Happily, some stretches to the north and south of the village are relatively clear and used by anglers, and most make pleasant walking. For much of its length from Royston to Heath, the public footpaths along the canal form part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

Click to enlargeThe Barnsley Canal - a map of how it was in the immediate vicinity of Walton village in the canal's heyday - derived from several engravings. 
[click map to enlarge]

The basic information dates from 1838 and 1839, but there were some later revisions, principally to the railways. The canal was replenished from the reservoirs at Wintersett and Cold Hiendley (the latter not built when this map was made). The flow into the canal was regulated by an engine housed in a Pumphouse (now demolished).

 

Click to enlarge
Awash With Hope For Canal
(Wakefield Express 24th September 2004)
Click to enlarge




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