'Manchester Ship Canal, Barton Bridge and Aqueduct', Manchester, 1900s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photographic postcard. Swing bridges are hydraulically operated bridges which can be moved laterally through 90 degrees so as to give unobstructed acces to shipping. Two were built above the Manchester Ship Canal at Eccles. The Barton Aqueduct carries the water of the Bridgwater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal at Eccles, Greater Manchester. Completed in 1896, it consists of a steel trough which holds 800 tons of water. The aqueduct was designed to be swung out of the way to be at right angles to the Ship Canal, allowing large ships to pas. When this was done, the water in the trough was held in by gates which could be closed at either end. The nearby Barton Swing Road Bridge is controlled from the same hydraulic power station as the aqueduct.