Our adopted length of canal from Barbridge Junction to Morris Bridge 15 contains 2 locks - Cholmoneston (11.25 feet rise and the third busiest lock on the network) and Minshull (11 feet rise), plus an aqueduct over the River Weaver. Skyes Hollow picnic site between Cholmoneston lock and Bridge 6 was originally a clay pit used for repairing breaches. A brick hut used as an office still remains (see above right). and was renovated from its delapidated state by students from Reaseheath College in June 2017. The site now has several picnic tables and barbecue stands and as a 48 hour mooring is a popular stopping off place. SUMBA has also laid matting adjacent to the canal to facilitate the disembarkment of disabled boaters. There are 4 other 48 hour moorings - above Cholmoneston lock, opposite Aqueduct Marina, at the viewpoint overlooking Church Minshull between bridges 12 and 13, and just before Minshullhill Bridge between bridges 13 and 14.
The canal passes close to the village of Church Minshull, the centre of which is a designated conservation area, containing many houses of Tudor style architecture (see below). The name of the village is recorded in the Domesday book.
For a canal history timeline and detailed features and events see the History page
Middlewich Branch runs between Barbridge Junction on the Shrophshire Union Main Line and the town of Middlewich where it joins the Wardle Canal (shortest canal on the network, consisting of a lock length plus a few yards) before dropping into the Trent and Mersey Canal. Construction of the 10 mile length began in 1827, and was opened in 1833. The canal was the location for trials with locomotive haulage of boats in 1888, using a narrow gauge engine from Crewe railway works, but the experiment was abandoned. Transhipment warehouses and wharves were built at Barbridge Junction in 1833 (see below), the brick built office remains just below the bridge.
WHERE TO EAT??
The Badger Inn at Church Minshull (above) - friendly and welcoming pub built at the end of the 18th century, with a great reputation for its food served all day + take away fish and chips - www.badgerinn.co.uk
The Barbridge Inn on the main line just south of Barbridge Junction - a busy canalside pub with a reasonably priced menu.
Venetian Marina café - lock side café serving good value sustaining meals and drinks, cakes a speciality. Closed on Mondays.
The Galley Café at Aqueduct Marina - overlooking the marina - home cooked food and drinks served all day - www.aqueductmarina.co.uk