The Manchester & Salford Junction Canal meets the Rochdale Canal immediately above Tib Lock 89 near the middle of the Rochdale Nine Locks.
The photo is looking into the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal. The Rochdale Canal runs across the foreground, heading downhill to Castlefield Junction to the left, and uphill to Ducie Street Junction to the Right.
A swing bridge crosses the entrance to the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal. The bridge is fixed closed to prevent attempts to enter the canal which is intended to be ornamental rather than navigable.
A sharp bend follows the bridges at the entrance to the canal. It still looks as if a short narrowboat could squeeze through here, if it could get past the fixed swing bridge. This was originally a broad canal.
The narrow channel leads into a former basin where the canal made a right angle turn. There was once a stop lock where the embankment is to the left of the photo. This raised the canal through 15cm (6 inches), before descending through four more locks to meet the River Irwell. The stop lock prevented the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal taking previous water from the Rochdale Canal. Pumping from the River Irwell was required to supply the water for the summit pound above the stop lock.
Looking across Lower Mosley Street, at the top of the embankment in the next (right) photo there’s no visible trace of the canal. It would have been at a lower level so it passed under the road and building with the curved roof, a little to the left of centre in this photo. Much of the canal’s route was built over, even before the canal closed, making it seem like it was in a tunnel.
The text around the top of the warehouse reads “Great Northern Railway Company’s Goods Warehouse”. It stands to the side of the canal which passed under the glass fronted building. The Great Northern Warehouse WIkipedia Page says there was a dock beneath the building, presumably on a side arm, with goods transferred to and from canal barges via shafts and a complex system of haulage using hydraulic power. It’s a three-way exchange warehouse serving canal, road and rail.
This photo is taken standing above the twin arches in the next (right) photo.
Now used as a car park under the former Manchester Central Station, the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal would have passed through here at the low level. Covered by the passenger and adjacent goods station the canal descended through two locks as it came towards the camera, the opposite way to the road approach today.
These were locks 3 and 4 which were staircase locks. The canal was so busy that there were two parallel sets of staircase locks making an unusual, perhaps unique, arrangement. This must have made an impressive sight with two parallel sets of two lock staircases on a broad canal, although I wonder how well they would have been seen under the railway.