As you travel The Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal tow-path from Radcliffe you are high on a hillside overlooking the River Irwell far below. At Ladyshore the Irwell takes a large ‘U’-shaped turn and the canal tow-path is well away from the steep valley hillside. Here Ladyshore Colliery was situated at both sides of the canal. There were pits at either side of the waterway. The northern side is still being filled-in and a large dip in the land can still be seen, but the southern side is now woodland where a ‘basin’, a now filled-in lagoon by the pit-head, would have been.
The basin was almost halfway between, to the north, Ladyshore Bridge, and, to the south, a distinctive narrow canal section which was a coffer-dam where boards could, if needed, be inserted across the canal sides to allow sections of canal to be drained. There is now a metal gateway affair adjacent to this coffer-dam.
The tow-path, nowadays, is continuous, but if you look a little closely, what seems like a uniformly built canal-edge is made-up of different sized stones.
I was told that this small stretch of tow-path was nearly always muddy, which suggests a soily, rather than stone, infill.
Nowadays the area is densely wooded and a small heritage site but at one time barges were hauled from here to Radcliffe, Bury or Bolton and coal, from pits at either side of the canal, was trucked, on rail-carts, across a rail-bridge over the canal from the main Ladyshore Wharf to the opposite basin, or vice-versa.
More will be added here as time allows.
6/8/14 Crossing the canal is an old bridge and from that a cobbled road leads downhill toward the River Irwell far below. It’s steep so take it easy! The blue-brick bridge was built in 1891.

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