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Historic England Research Records

Standedge Canal Tunnel

Hob Uid: 47637
Location :
Oldham, Kirklees
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SE0396011910
Summary : The Standedge Canal Tunnel opened in 1811 and allows the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to pass through the Pennines between Diggle and Marsden. It is the longest, highest and deepest tunnel in Britain being 3.25 miles long and 645ft above sea level. Construction of the tunnel started in 1795 and it took a long 16 years to complete. The tunnel's, and the canal's, original engineer was Benjamin Outram. However, due to his many other commitments most of the canal's construction took place under the supervision of a young, inexperienced, surveyor, Nicholas Brown. The slow progress of the tunnel - by 1799 the canal had reached either side of the tunnel - led to Outram's resignation with its completion now being supervised by Thomas Telford. Excavation of the tunnel had been taking place, not only from each end, but also from the bottom of the air shafts. This led to the tunnel being somewhat crooked and Telford discovered that, at one point, the two excavations were not going to meet and they were going to end up with two tunnels. Correcting this has resulted in the tunnel having noticeable bends. The tunnel closed to traffic in 1944 and most of the 20-mile canal died with it. Following the restoration of the canal by the Huddersfield Canal Society, the tunnel reopened to traffic in May 2001.
More information : (SE 00600792 to SE 03961191) Standedge Tunnels (NAT)
(twice). (1)

Standedge canal tunnel is on the summit level of the Huddersfield
Canal, the highest stretch of navigable water in the country. It is
the longest canal tunnel in Britain; originally 5456 yds but
extended to 5698 yds by the construction of a platform for the
railway tunnels in 1893-4. Opened on 4 April 1811 it was used
until closure in 1944. It is still maintained to drain the railway
tunnels and is navigable. Recommended notify British Waterways
Board. (2-3)

SE 0397 1192 TUNNEL END Marsden

4/475 Entrance Portal to Standedge Canal

- II*

1798-1811. Canal tunnel portal. Engineer Benjamin Outram.
Semicircular ashlar arch forms entrance to stone vaulted tunnel.
Coursed rubble walling with string course and ashlar coping. The
tunnel is 3 miles 171 yards long, 3 yards wide and 17 feet high.
Water level is 8 feet. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1958
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The canals of north west England, volume 2
Source details :
Page(s) : 323, 447, 474
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.9
Source Number : 3
Source details : Indust Mon Survey (Prov Schedule List) March 1974 7
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Kirklees, 11-JUL-1985
Page(s) : 196
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1795-1811
Monument End Date : 1811
Monument Start Date : 1795
Monument Type : Canal Tunnel
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Closed in 1944
Monument End Date : 1944
Monument Start Date : 1944
Monument Type : Canal Tunnel
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Reopened in 2001
Monument End Date : 2001
Monument Start Date : 2001
Monument Type : Canal Tunnel
Evidence : Subterranean Feature

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 420303
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 01 SW 15
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31