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Pennine Waterways
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Pennine Waterways
Ashton Canal
Hollinwood Branch Canal - what next? (3)
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But just a short distance further is the 'fairy-tale' location at Daisy Nook: aqueducts, a junction, four locks (two as a staircase pair), all forming an amazing sight.
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The locks are capped and some of the stonework has been taken down, but many details are still to be seen (such as the brackets, or so-called 'A' frames, that used to hold the lock gates.)
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Detail of A-frame in Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough
Detail of A-frame in Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough.
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Woodhouses Aqueduct, Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough
Woodhouses Aqueduct, Daisy Nook.
Photo: Bob Gough.

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Staircase locks, Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough
Staircase locks, Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough.
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Crime Lake, Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough
Crime Lake, Daisy Nook. Photo: Bob Gough.
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Above the fourth lock (Lock No. 22 - the numbering continues in sequence from the 18 locks on the Ashton Canal) is Waterhouses Junction. Turning right takes you along the Fairbottom Branch to Bardsley; about a mile in length.
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The canal is in water at the junction, and it is easy to imagine that a boat could appear any minute! Keeping on the Hollinwood Branch, beyond the junction is Crime Lake.
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This was a lake created by flooding a small valley. The lake was never planned, but during the construction of the canal embankment, the stream culvert underneath it became blocked and was never cleared. Instead, the valley was allowed to slowly fill up and only the towpath bank of the embankment was completed so forming a dam across the valley.
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The area is popular now for walking and fishing. But it used to be popular for pleasure boating as well: up until the 1930s, rowing boats could be hired out. And for one year, around 1897, a steam launch even operated on the lake, as part of a timetabled service from Hollinwood to Bardsley Bridge.
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