River Irk

River Irk

Infobox River
river_name = River Irk

caption =
origin = Royton
mouth = River Irwell, Manchester
basin_countries = England
length =
elevation =
mouth_elevation =
discharge =
watershed =
The River Irk is a river in Greater Manchester in North West England that flows through the northern suburbs of Manchester before merging with the River Irwell in Manchester City Centre.

Rising to the east of Royton, north of Oldham and running west past Chadderton (where it passes under the Rochdale Canal) and Middleton, its course has been extensively altered as the Industrial Revolution took its toll on the region's landscape; the Irk has been labelled 'the lost river of Manchester'.Fact|date=June 2008

Historically, the Irk has also been known as the Iwrck or the Irke, names thought to have been derived from the Roebuck, suggesting that the Irk was at one time a swift-running river, [cite web |title=History of the valley |publisher=The Irk Valley Project |url=http://www.irkvalley.info/about.html |accessdate=2007-12-12] but by the start of the 20th century the Irk Valley between Crumpsall and Blackley had been left a neglected river, "not only the blackest but the most sluggish of all rivers". Recently a project has been set up to rejuvenate the river and remove the pollution.

The Marxist writer Engels vividly describes the banks of the Irk in Manchester at the height of the city's industrial excess:

The river has long since been culverted as it reaches the city centre. The murky brook disappears beneath Manchester Victoria railway station into a cavernous brick tunnel at Ducie Bridge and empties unceremoniously into the Irwell beneath a railway viaduct.

On August 15 1953 the front coach of a Manchester to Bury electric train fell from the viaduct over the River Irk after colliding with a local steam train. Ten people were killed and 58 injured in what became known as the Irk Valley Junction disaster. [cite web |title=Irk Valley Junction 1953 |publisher=Danger Ahead! – Historic Railway Disasters |url=http://danger-ahead.railfan.net/gallery/irk_valley.html |accessdate=2007-12-12]


*Boggart Hole Brook
*Boardman Brook
*Wince Brook
**Springs Brook
*Trub Brook
**Whit Brook
*Moston Brook
*Luzley Brook
**Long Brook





External links

* [http://www.silentuk.com/writeups/prime.html Buried River Irk Photos]
* [http://www.irkvalley.info/ The Irk Valley Project]

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