Huddersfield Broad Canal

Huddersfield Broad Canal

The Huddersfield Broad Canal (also called by its original name, the Sir John Ramsden Canal) is a wide-locked navigable canal in Yorkshire in northern England.

The waterway is 3 3/4 miles (6 km) long and has 9 wide locks. It follows the valley of the River Colne and connects the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Cooper Bridge junction with the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at (or near) Aspley Basin in the centre of Huddersfield.


The original purpose of the canal was to connect Huddersfield to the other Yorkshire waterways: that is, to the Aire and Calder Navigation via the Calder and Hebble Navigation. It was built by the Ramsden family of Huddersfield, and completed in 1780. The building of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal gave it a heavily-locked Western connection to wool-weaving towns of the upper Colne valley (Golcar, Linthwaite, Slaithwaite, and Marsden) and across the Pennines to Saddleworth, Stalybridge and Manchester via Standedge Tunnel (the longest, deepest and highest on the English Canals). It was never closed, and sections of the canal have been upgraded over a number of years.

Current state

The Broad Canal is used much more since the re-opening of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in 2001. This made the Broad canal part of one of three cross-Pennine through-routes. Mooring points around the Aspley Basin have fresh water and electric services.

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