Category: St Helens Canal

St Helens Canal Maps

Free Maps These are my free maps covering the St Helens Canal. Download these free maps (from the links at the end) to see how good my maps are, and to check you can...

Entrance to the St Helens Canal

< Next St Helens Canal JUMP TO > < Warrington Earlestown > The entrance to the St Helens Canal in Widnes is from the tidal River Mersey and only useable near high tide. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 00.000.00 OS Grid Reference...

Entrance to the St Helens Canal

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The entrance lock to the St Helens Canal from the tidal River Mersey is only useable near high tide. There were once a pair of locks here and...

St Helens Canal Entrance Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Looking towards the River Mersey from the entrance lock to the St Helens Canal when the tide is out. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 00.045.02 OS Grid Reference SJ...

Top Gates and Paddle Gear

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The entrance lock is in full working order and available for use when the tide is in.  A well used footpath runs across the top gate.  The...

Carter House Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The towpath changes sides at Carter House Swing Bridge which has recently been replaced and seems to be in full working order, just waiting for boats to pass....

Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Fiddler’s Ferry Power station sits near the canal.  A freight only railway line runs parallel to the canal and is used to bring coal to the power station.  A...

Mersey Gateway Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The St Helens Canal runs close to the tidal River Mersey for the first 8 km (5 miles).  Looking to the west we can see the three cranes starting to...

Runcorn Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Looking west, along the tidal River Mersey,  from one of the viewpoints along the St Helens Canal the crane and low level causeway in the foreground are...

Cormorant Perching Post

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > A cormorant finds the redundant signal post a handy perching place to look down on the canal and across the adjacent River Mersey. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 02.625.02...

Missing Aqueduct

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The handrail across the canal marks the location of a missing aqueduct where a local watercourse once passed under the canal and now cuts across the canal in...

Aqueduct is a Cross Channel

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > A local watercourse, once passed under the canal at an aqueduct and now crosses in an open channel.  The pipe across the channel maintains the water flow between...

Modern Overbridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > A modern bridge strides across the canal and the adjacent railway, replacing an old swing bridge and level crossing just to the east. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 03.855...

Marsh House Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Marsh House Swing Bridge is now a fixed structure where the road crosses the adjacent railway at a level crossing. The bridge forms the current limit of...

Restoration Possible

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Looking west from the fixed Marsh House Swing Bridge shows the channel is completely filled with reeds,but practical to restore. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 05.355.01 OS Grid Reference...

Open Section at Fiddler’s Ferry

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > A 660m section of canal is open next to Fiddler’s Ferry Lock, running east from Marsh House Swing Bridge. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 05.355.02 OS Grid Reference SJ...

Swing Bridge at Fiddler’s Ferry

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Looking East along the St Helens Canal the swing bridge on the right carries the towpath across Fiddler’s Ferry Lock which grants access to the tidal River...

Fiddler’s Ferry Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Fiddler’s Ferry Lock links the 600m open section of canal to the tidal River Mersey.  The first stage of restoration of the St Helens Canal proposes to...

River Mersey at Fiddler’s Ferry

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The River Mersey, looking upstream at Fiddler’s Ferry Lock, where it’s starting to look more like a river than a tidal estuary. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 05.515.04 OS...

Working Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The first swing bridge to the east of Fiddler’s Ferry Lock is still operational and divides the open section of the St Helens Canal into two parts. Waterway...

Open section of St Helens Canal

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Lots of moored boats on the open section of the St Helens Canal. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 05.650 OS Grid Reference SJ 56196 86610 Date and Time 151229...

Fixed Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The second swing bridge after Fiddler’s Ferry Lock is now fixed. Restoration of the canal will require it to swing again. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 05.830 OS Grid...

Penketh Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Penketh Swing Bridge is another bridge now fixed across the canal. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 06.370 OS Grid Reference SJ 56801 86987 Date and Time 151229 121044 Copyright...

Modern Housing by the canal

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Modern housing approaches the north side of the canal, but is separated by the railway which still runs parallel to the canal.  The towpath is great for...

Mayers Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Marsh Swing Bridge is another which no longer swings.  There’s also a pipe running across the canal at bridge deck level, just to the right of the bridge...

Warning Signs

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Several long lengths of the St Helens Canal have fencing between the towpath and the canal with red signs saying “No Angling” and warning of the unstable...

Fixed Railway Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Now fixed too low for navigation the former swing railway bridge will be one of the more difficult problems to tackle during restoration of the canal.  This is...

Restored Swing Footbridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Parallel to the fixed railway bridge is a swing footbridge that was restored some time ago and, although it looks like it could do with a lick...

Liverpool Road Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Liverpool Road Bridge, around 100m from the fixed railway bridge, is another fixed bridge which will require considerable money and ingenuity to find an acceptable solution to make...

Footbridge with navigation clearance

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Continuing beyond the two fixed rail and road bridges the next bridge is a footbridge with navigation clearance across a channel that looks ready for boats already. Although...

View from the Footbridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Looking down from the footbridge it’s not hard to imagine a little dredging taking place to clear the channel for navigation. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 08.730.02 OS...

Sankey Way

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Sankey Way crosses the canal just above water level in the centre of this photo.  Fortunately there seems to be space to raise the road to create navigation...

Sankey Way Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Sankey Way will require raising to create navigation clearances. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 09.095.01 OS Grid Reference SJ 58976 88214 Date and Time 151229 124941 Copyright ©...

Ready for Boats

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > North of Sankey Way there are sections of canal which look ready for navigation. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 09.095.02 OS Grid Reference SJ 58976 88214 Date and...

Which Way Next?

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > The Sankey Valley Park, with lots of amenities, follows the line of the St Helens Canal and the adjacent Sankey Brook. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 09.565.01 OS...

High Level Footbridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Warrington Widnes > Another footbridge already high enough for navigation, above a channel looking ready for navigation. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 09.565.02 OS Grid Reference SJ 59058 88663 Date and Time 151229...

Sankey (Seven Arches) Viaduct

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Widnes > Known as the “Seven Arches” there are seven arches plus one flat span across the canal. There are suggestions that the flat span once lifted to allow masted...

Looking ready for boats

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Viewed from the foot of the Sankey (Seven Arches) Railway Viaduct the canal looks ready for boats. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 09.930 OS Grid Reference SJ 58994 89036...

Bewsey Bridges

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The narrow road bridge (nearest the camera) was a swing bridge but is now fixed.  A modern footbridge (with the white railings) is also fixed and both prevent navigation...

Bewsey Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The walls and basic structure of Bewsey Lock are still there, ready for restoration. Like all the locks on the St Helens Canal, this is a broad lock...

Interpretation Board

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > An interpretation board at Bewsey Lock provides lots of information about the lock, the swing bridge across it, and the surrounding area. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 10.630.01 OS...

Bewsey Lock Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > A modern swing bridge replaces the former swing bridge across Bewsey Lock.  This is ready to swing once the vegetation is cleared and the lock is restored.  It...

Sankey Canal Trail

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The Sankey Canal Trail crosses the swing bridge at Bewsey Lock and generally follows the canal, although not as close as a towpath, and is great for cycling...

Bewsey Lock Structure

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The structure of Bewsey Lock is still there, waiting to be restored, with the gate recesses clearly visible in the stonework.  The channel to the north is still...

Sankey Brook

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Starting about 550m north of Bewsey Lock, and for almost 1km (1/2 mile), the Sankey Brook has been diverted to run along the St Helens Canal.  Don’t let the name...

Sankey Book and St Helens Canal

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The channel is kept dredged and clear of vegetation where it’s shared with the Sankey Brook to allow flood water to pass through, on its way to the...

Hulme Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The outline of Hulme Lock is clearly visible.  We’re looking northwards, that’s uphill, yet the land level beyond the lock is lower than the lock.  Subsidence from coal...

Winwick Quay

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The hand rails on the left are for a Lift Bridge which crosses the entrance to the dry dock.  There’s no lifting mechanism, just a hinge at the...

Dry Dock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Looking into the dry dock from the lift bridge.  Boats would have been maintained in here, after the water had been let out through sluices, into the Sankey...

Motorway Embankment

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The grass marks the line of the canal which heads straight for the embankment of the modern M62 motorway. There’s certainly enough height difference to construct a bridge...

Winwick Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > The West Coast Railway Line runs parallel to the canal for 2½ km (1½ miles) to the north of Warrington Bank Quay station and the gates of Winwick Lock...

Cycle Track

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > A cycle and walking path follows the line of the canal for most of the length, including the approach to Earlestown. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 14.905 OS Grid...

Below Hey Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Approaching Hey Lock from below. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 15.400 OS Grid Reference SJ 58233 93729 Date and Time 151229 135918 Copyright © Paul Balmer

Swing Bridge below Bradley Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Below Bradley Lock another swing bridge has already been restored, waiting for boats to pass through. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 16.350 OS Grid Reference SJ 57672 94408 Date...

Bradley Lock, from below

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Bradley Lock, viewed from below, showing a small rise in canal level. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 16.625 OS Grid Reference SJ 57399 94406 Date and Time 151229 140637...

Bradley Lock Stonework

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Bradley Lock has interesting holes in the stonework.  I expect someone knows what they were for. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 16.680.01 OS Grid Reference SJ 57338 94433 Date and Time...

Bradley Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Earlestown Warrington > Bradley Lock, looking uphill, although the ground level suggests otherwise.  The level of the land and the towpath above the lock are at the same level as that...

Sankey (Nine Arches) Viaduct

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Warrington > The recent path follows the line of the canal under the Railway Viaduct, known locally as Nine Arches, which carries the Chat Moss Line from...

Newton Common Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > Part of Newton Common Lock is visible, with the far end under the road which was once a swing bridge. Note the...

Limited Headroom

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > Penkford Bridge crosses the canal with limited headroom. The arches to the left carry the towpath over the flow to the weir...

Crossing the Flood Plain

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > There is very little height difference between the canal, to the right of the footpath, and the Sankey Brook, to the left....

Fish Ponds

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > It’s difficult to identify the course of the canal in places.  Sometimes the Sankey Brook has been diverted to flow along the...

Towpath Footbridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > A new footbridge carries the towpath over a channel taking the flow from a local watercourse using part of the canal until...

Water Filled Channel

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > Local water courses flow along the channel of the canal before joining the Sankey Brook.  The water level can overtop the banks...

Broad Oak Basin

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > Broad Oak Basin would once have been busy with boats being loaded and unloaded. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 20.550 OS Grid Reference...

Former Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > The stonework marks the position of a former swing bridge. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 20.820 OS Grid Reference SJ 53896 96051 Date...

Old Double Locks

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > This two lock staircase became know as the “Old Double Locks” to distinguish them from a newer two lock staircase built closer to...

Waterfalls Through The Locks

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > Water from local watercourses is diverted to flow along the old canal and cascades through the old staircase locks after heavy rain....

Old Double Locks

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > Looking down the Old Double Locks, with an impressive flow of water after recent heavy rain. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS 21.165 OS...

Old Double Locks

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > After recent heavy rain, water cascades down through the former two lock staircase known as the Old Double Locks on the St...

Former Swing Bridge

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > The extra stonework on the left indicates where a swing railway bridge once crossed the top lock, and a swing footbridge once...

Upper Staircase Lock

< Next St Helens Canal Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Earlestown > A footbridge carries the towpath across the top of the Old Double Locks.  Immediately beyond is the junction which marks the end...

End of the St Helens Canal

< JUMP TO St Helens Canal Next > < Widnes Earlestown > < Next Blackbrook Branch JUMP TO > < End of Navigation End of Navigation > < Next Gerard’s Bridge Branch JUMP TO > < New Double Lock...

Start of the Blackbrook Branch

< Next Blackbrook Branch JUMP TO > < End of Navigation End of Navigation > < Next Gerard’s Bridge Branch JUMP TO > < New Double Lock Jn End of Navigation > < JUMP TO St Helens Canal...

Start of the Blackbrook Branch

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > Looking back along the Blackbrook Branch to the Junction, where the black and white footbridge is just visible, with the end...

Blackbrook Branch Footbridge

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > A footbridge crosses near the start of the Blackbrook Branch.  There’s also a small weir under the bridge. Waterway and Kilometerage...

Channel of the Blackbrook Branch

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > Rather overgrown with reeds the main channel of the Blackbrook Branch is still visible. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BB 21.250 OS Grid...

Blackpool Road Bridge

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > There’s very little clearance under Blackpool Road Bridge which carries a busy road across the canal.  Providing an opening bridge here...

Stanley Basin

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > Stanley Basin would once have been busy with boats being loaded and unloaded.  It’s not clear if this was dug specially...

Wagon at Stanley Basin

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > Wagons, like this replica, would have been used to carry loads to and from Stanley Basin for loading to and from...

Crane at Stanley Basin

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > Cranes, like this replica, would have been used at Stanley Basin to lift goods on and off boats which would have...

Overgrown Blackbrook Branch

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > The edges of the Blackbrook Branch are rather overgrown but the centre channel is kept free and used for drainage, especially...

Stanley Mill

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > Just a short distance from the path along the Blackbrook Branch of the St Helens Canal is the partially restored Stanley...

End of the Blackbrook Branch

< Next Blackbrook Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > There’s a small basin at the end of the Blackbrook Branch but nothing else to see. Some old references suggest the adjacent...

Limit of Navigation

< JUMP TO Blackbrook Branch Next > < Old Double Locks Jn Old Double Locks Jn > Looking back from the small basin at the limit of navigation on the Blackbrook Branch of the St Helens...

Underwater Junction

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch JUMP TO > < Ravenhead Branch Jn End of Navigation > < Next Gerard’s Bridge Branch Next > < End of Navigation Old Double Locks Jn > The picture is looking along the...

Hidden Junction

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The high water levels make it almost impossible to distinguish where the junction is. We are looking from the New...

New Double Locks

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The bottom of the two lock staircase, known as the New Double Locks.  These were restored some time ago and...

New Double Locks

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The restored centre gates of the two lock staircase known as the New Double Locks have been allowed to deteriorate,...

New Double Lock Footbridges

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > There are no walkways across the middle and bottom lock gates of the New Double Locks but there are footbridges...

Above the New Double Locks

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The two lock staircase at the end of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch of the St Helens Canal was restored some...

Causeway and Bridge

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The first bridge, with the light coloured railings, has been replaced by a causeway and the road level will have...

Restored Branch

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > There’s nothing to stop boats cruising along this restored section of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch in St Helens. Note the...

Causeways Block the Navigation

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > As the canal passes through St Helens there are several roads that cross the canal just above water level which will make...

Restored Already

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > Between the low bridges the canal is largely restored, just waiting for boats to cruise along. Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB...

Cruising through the Grass

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The line of the canal is still available for restoration where this hasn’t already been been done.  Here the route...

Modern Low Bridge

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > With canal restoration seriously proposed it’s a little surprising that a recently installed footbridge has been constructed with such limited...

Junction with the Ravenhead Branch

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < End of Navigation New Double Locks Jn > < Next Ravenhead Branch JUMP TO > < End of Navigation End of Navigation > Looking from the inside of the curve...

End of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch

< JUMP TO Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < New Double Locks Jn Ravenhead Branch Jn > Filmed from the junction with the Ravenhead Branch, the Boardman’s Bridge Branch once continues around 300m (330 yards) straight ahead,...

Wildlife on the Water

< Next Boardman’s Bridge Branch Next > < Ravenhead Branch Jn New Double Locks Jn > The wildlife is quite happy with the restored sections of canal.  In the distance is a railway bridge which, like...