The Manchester Ship Canal transformed a land-locked industrial city into England’s fourth-biggest port and continues to provide an economic legacy for the whole region.

Although the Bridgewater Canal provided a good route to Liverpool, by the 1870s many saw the need for a waterway that could accommodate much bigger vessels. Charges imposed by the Port of Liverpool and the railway costs to carry freight to Manchester were seen as extortionate by local businessmen.

On 27 June 1882, an inaugural meeting of the campaign to build the canal was held at The Towers, Didsbury, home of Manchester manufacturer Daniel Adamson. The canal would not open until 1894.

Visit Archives+ to follow the story of the canal from campaign to operation.

One Shilling Coupon signed by Daniel Adamson
Navvies, 1890s