Heath Charnock Parish Council

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The section through Heath Charnock was opened in 1799 as part of the southern section of the Lancaster canal. This was built in two parts, Kendal to Preston, and Walton Summit (north of Chorley) and Westhoughton., with a tramway connecting the two sections.

The Leeds and Liverpool canal originally planned to have its own section between Johnson’s Hillock and Parbold, but this was abandoned through a lack of money. It then came to an agreement with the Lancaster canal to use its southern section between Johnson’s Hillock and Wigan, taking over this section in 1864

During the nineteenth century it prospered and was used for carrying stone, coal and many other goods. The coming of the lorry finally saw commercial traffic on the Leeds and Liverpool dwindle. Commercial traffic continued along the main canal until 1964. Regular work stopped in 1972 when the movement of coal to Wigan Power Station ceased.

Through the later part of the twentieth century, the leisure potential of the canal began to be appreciated and it is now very popular , partly for its stunning scenery and partly for the long lock-free sections that are ideal for cruising.

History - Canal