- Hits: 3324
The Huddersfield Broad Canal (also called by its original name, the Sir John Ramsden Canal) is a wide-locked navigable canal in Yorkshire.
The waterway is 3 3/4 miles (6 km) long and has 9 wide locks.
It follows the valley of the River Colne and connects the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Cooper Bridge junction with the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at (or near) Aspley Basin in the centre of Huddersfield.
The original purpose of the canal was to connect Huddersfield to the other Yorkshire waterways: that is, to the Aire and Calder Navigation via the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
It was built by the Ramsden family of Huddersfield, and completed in 1780.
The building of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal gave it a heavily-locked Western connection to wool-weaving towns of the upper Colne valley (Golcar, Linthwaite, Slaithwaite, and Marsden) and across the Pennines to Saddleworth, Stalybridge and Manchester via Standedge Tunnel (the longest, deepest and highest on the English Canals).
It was never closed, and sections of the canal have been upgraded over a number of years. The Broad Canal is used much more since the re-opening of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in 2001. This made the Broad canal part of one of three cross-Pennine through-routes.
Mooring points around the Aspley Basin have fresh water and electric services.
The Huddersfield Broad Canal made its original connection with the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to the west of the A629 Wakefield Road. Following strengthening work to Wakefield Road, which included the construction of a reinforced concrete tunnel under the original bridge, this short section is no longer navigable to vessels wider than 7 feet (2.1 m). Although British Waterways has not officially redesignated it, the Wakefield Road tunnel now effectively forms the end of the Huddersfield Broad Canal.