Harding’s Wood is a canal junction near Kidsgrove in Staffordshire and the point at which the Macclesfield Canal joins the Trent and Mersey Canal.- John Benson, Canal & River Trust Archivist
There are only two canal flyover junctions in Britain, and Harding's Wood Canal is one of them. Joining the Macclesfield Canal with the Trent and Mersey Canal, it was dubbed ‘The Grand Trunk’ by its engineer, James Brindley.
Construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal and the junction itself were decreed by an Act of Parliament in 1766, but took a further 10 years to be fully completed – finally opening in 1777.
The ‘flyover’ junction is so called because where the lines meet, the southern Hall Green branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal leaves the mainline and then crosses back over itself – creating the flyover pattern. One 90-degree turn followed by another in the opposite direction. The branch then continues north to join up with the Macclesfield Canal. Its rarity makes it a must-see.
5 things to do nearby
Westport Lake - With plenty to see and do around the lake, this is the ideal place to bring the whole family.
Apedale Heritage Centre - Discover the rich industrial heritage of Apedale Valley at this unique museum.
Burslem Park - This well maintained park is perfect for a summer picnic.
Brampton Museum - This museum has plenty of interesting exhibits on offer and a variety of children's activities.
Ford Green Hall - This 17th century farmhouse offers amazing historical insights.
Image credit: cc-by-sa/2.0 by Roger Kidd - geograph.org.uk/p/3173377