Lifting mechanism at the entrance to the canals, from an eighteenth centruy drawing.

Worsley's underground canal system was a network of tunnels that gave access to the rich coal seems in the area. The system not only allowed access to coal seems: it was a also means of drainage and a source of water for the Bridgewater Canal.

Over fifty miles of tunnels made this a unique and fantastic achievement. The underground canal system was used up to the 1890s and included an impressive engineering feature, an inclined plane, that allowed mine boats to be transferred from one level of the canal to another. This was the brainchild of the Duke of Bridgewater's agent, John Gilbert.

For more information see
Atkinson, Glen The Canal Duke's collieries. Worsley 1760-1900 (Neil Richardson, 1998) 
Mullineux, Frank The Duke of Bridgewater's underground canals at Worsley  (Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society, reprint,1963)