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Marple Grand Aqueduct

Completed in 1800, this fine stone aqueduct carries the Peak Forest Canal over the River Goyt. It is a scheduled Ancient Monument.

Greater Manchester
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About Marple Grand Aqueduct

The Peak Forest Canal is a narrow artificial waterway 14.5 miles (23.3 km) long and runs from Dukinfield in Greater Manchester, where there is a junction with the Ashton Canal, through Newton, Hyde, Woodley, Bredbury, Romiley, to connect with the Macclesfield Canal at Marple Junction. The upper Peak Forest Canal continues from Marple through Strines, Disley, New Mills, Furness Vale and Bridgemont to terminate at Bugsworth Basin in Derbyshire. (see entry for Bugsworth Basin). The lower reaches of the canal are part of the Cheshire Ring waterway.

Marple Aqueduct, also known as 'the Grand Aqueduct', carries the lower level of the Peak Forest Canal across the River Goyt at Marple. Benjamin Outram and Thomas Brown jointly designed it and the contract for its construction was placed with William Broadhead, Bethel Furness and William Anderson. The first stone was laid without ceremony in May 1794. The three arches were keyed in during 1799 and it was filled with water in 1800.

The lower part is of red sandstone, rough hewn from the nearby Hyde Bank quarry, and the upper part is of white-hewn masonry. The abutments widen in well-proportioned curves and batter or diminish upwards in the same manner. The skilful use of architectural features, such as pierced spandrels and string courses, arch rings and pilasters of ashlar stone, oval piers and stone of different type and colour have created a graceful structure, which is superlative in its class.

Its position, amidst the wooded valley of the river Goyt at Marple, gives it a bold and romantic character. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

By Road: In dense woodland, it is quite hard to find on the western edge of Marple, off the A626.

By Rail: It is best seen from the parallel railway viaduct.

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