Pennine Waterways News

Friday 13 April 2012

Huddersfield Waterfront: The Photos

As reported here recently, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has been re-opened through the former Sellers Engineering site in Huddersfield, having been lifted up from the previous tunnel to become a feature of the Huddersfield Waterfront development.

A small selection of photographs has been sourced by British Waterways to share with you. The images are courtesy of Kirklees Council.

The first photo shows a section where the roof of the former tunnel has been removed. The channel partly infilled to raise the bottom of the canal by around 10 feet, although the new canal is still confined within the channel of the former tunnel.

Canal at ground level using channel of former tunnel.

The next photo shows the area immediately above the new lock that will return the canal to the previous level. The former tunnel channel has been opened out to provide a wider section where boats can pass or moor up for the lock.

Wider section looking towards Chapel Hill

Towards the eastern end of the site a new lock has been built to take the canal back down to the level that had run through the tunnel, so that it can pass below Chapel Hill. The photo shows the concrete cill at the head of the lock. The head gate is now roughly where the men with the ladder are. This is the third Lock 3e. The site of the first one is between this lock and Chapel Hill.

New Lock 3e.

The new Lock 3e during construction. The chamber has been created within the channel of the former tunnel, with concrete sides constructed in front of the piled walls. The concrete beams across the tunnel roof have not yet been removed in this photo.

New Lock 3e.

When the canal channel through the Waterfront site was complete, a low-key opening ceremony was arranged, with the Calder Navigation Society's boat Savile being brought in for the occasion. Savile is seen here in the new lock as it starts to fill.

Savile in the new Lock 3e.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony: Paul Kemp of Kirklees Council cuts the ribbon, flanked by David Baldacchino of British Waterways and Alan Stopher of the Huddersfield Canal Society.

Cutting the ribbon.

The canal is now open to navigation through the Waterfront site but the towpath is still closed as the area is still a building site. The towpath will open when landscaping of the area between the canal and river has been carried out.

[Photos courtesy of Kirklees Council]

More information about the scheme to open out the tunnel, including photos of the tunnel's construction 12 years ago, can be seen here.


  1. good to see the canal as it use to be I guess the new lock 3E is in the same place before the canal was closed

  2. "I guess the new lock 3E is in the same place before the canal was closed".

    Err, no: "The site of the first one [lock 3E] is between this lock [the new lock 3E] and Chapel Hill"

  3. Unfortunately boats are still unable to pass along this section of the canal, apparently they're having problems with the water levels, I was told this by someone who lives in Aspley Marina and is keen to be one of the first through the new lock. BW don't seem to be advertising this fact...

  4. Towpath is now fully open and I was able to walk the full length of the opened-up section yesterday.

  5. had a walk on today with my camra i see the lock is near the old one will the towpath up to lock 2 been opened up at chapel hill any time and do you think bates would ever move sites so that bit can be bough back to ground level

  6. There are no plans at the moment to open the towpath to Lock 2. I asked why the old horse tunnel under Chapel Hill hadn't been re-opened with access from the new lock but was told that there were services such as fibre optic cables blocking the way on the west side of the road. As for Bates, my crystal ball is as good as yours, Mic!

  7. is there any old photos of canal online before bates was there one other way there could be access to that bit of canal is put some steps from chapel hill down to canal as like at the other end of bates

  8. what has happened to the HOLLINWOOD CANAL SOCIETY SITE online found a picture in a book of the lock where the M60 now is so sad

    1. Hello Mic. Hollinwood Canal Society website is still here:


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