History of the route . . .
THE canal was proposed at a public meeting in September 1824 at the Macclesfield Arms pub in Macclesfield.
It was created with the intention of providing a cheaper and quicker way of transporting silk and coal.
The route was surveyed by Thomas Telford and built by William Crosley and was one of the last to be built in Britain.
Construction of the canal began at Bollington in December 1826 and it was completed in 1831 at a cost of £320,000. The canal was a hailed an instant success, bringing in an income of £6,000 in its first year of operation. As with many canals, Macclesfield’s passed into the hands of the railways for about 100 years. In February 1912, the canal burst its banks at Kerridge, flooding several nearby streets.
The canals and the railways were nationalised in 1947 and the Macclesfield went to a new body, the Docks and Inland Waterways Board.
Over the years the canal started to suffer from a lack of maintenance, although commercial use of the canal continued into the 1960s. The canal is now part of the network owned and managed by the charity Canal and River Trust.