One of the Bridgwater Canal’s most impressive features was the Barton Aqueduct, built to carry the waterway over the River Irwell. When self-taught engineer James Brindley dreamt up the idea, it was met with widespread scepticism and nicknamed the ‘Castle in the Air’. However, the aqueduct was widely regarded as an engineering marvel, drawing visitors from far and wide. Brindley’s Castle in the Air worked for 130 years, until its replacement in 1893 by the present Barton Swing Bridge.
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