Barton-upon-Irwell: the decayed 'wonder' with a ray of hope
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Barton-upon-Irwell has got one grade II and two Grade 1 listed structures and another which is unique in the world, yet it's a mess. It's worse than a mess. It's overgrown, litter-strewn, fly-tipped, rusty, crumbling, tired and dangerous. It's worse than a mess because it's a disgrace.
Barton-upon-Irwell which lies, unusually, on both sides of the Manchester Ship Canal, one part in Trafford MBC and the other in Salford. Barton should be the Iron Bridge of the North attracting thousands of tourists with canal side cafes and interpretation panels. It lies less than a mile from the Trafford Centre which boasts (in normal times) 35m visitors. All it would take is an act of will.
What are Barton-on-Irwell's assets?
**Barton Aqueduct - Grade II listed structure. The first and only swing aqueduct in the world. Considering it's historical importance should it not be a Grade I listed structure?
**Barton Swing Bridge and the control Tower for both - all three are an ensemble.
**All Saints RC church and Presbytery - Grade I listed buildings. On the Trafford side of Manchester Ship Canal is All Saints RC Church from 1865. E W Pugin also designed the celebrated Gorton Monastery. All Saints is a better building. It was built at the behest of the de Trafford family and incorporates a splendid family chapel.
**Manchester Ship Canal - the oldest and first fully artificial industrial canal in the country.
**Stone remains of the first aqueduct - On the Salford side of the Ship Canal are the handsome stone remains of the first aqueduct from 1761 which was a sensation and attracted visitors from across Europe. The aqueduct was designed by James Brindley.