As you walk beneath the Manchester Road Bridge you will see many scars on its underside, evidence of years of alterations, extensions and repairs.
Water under the bridge
Can you also see the curved metal plates in the towpath at either end of the bridge? They mark the spot where gates were installed to protect the wharf if the Burnley Embankment breached. The power of rushing water would have pushed the gates closed, preventing the wharf from flooding and allowing work there to continue.
Look for a white pulley attached to the edge of the towpath outside the Tollhouse. The black door opposite the pulley leads to the stables where boaters would lead their horses for a well-earned rest. In order to protect the brickwork from rope damage the workers were asked to attach their towrope to the pulley. Look for the evidence of rope marks in the wall near the door and tollhouse. The grooves show that the pulley wasn’t always used.
Mind the gap
Look under Bridge 130BB, (on the other side of Manchester Road Bridge) can you find the gap in the towpath with a slope entering the canal? This is a horse gap. If a horse fell into the water it would swim along until it reached the slope, where it would be walked out safely. So how often would this happen?
Wildlife watch: Butterflies
Fragrant buddleias grow across from the visitors centre and they attract many butterfly species including Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks and Orange Tips. If you spend some time here in the summer months you are sure to spot one.
Last date edited: 21 July 2015