The Old Stable block at Enfield wharf in Clayton Le Moors has recently been converted into a martial arts gym. Interestingly, the site in model form can be seen in Oswaldtwistle mills.
This historic site will be two hundred years old, next year. The canal building was built in 1802. Importantly, this was the nearest point on the canal, to Accrington. In fact, for a long time, it was used as a wood yard. In 1802 Accrington was a small village. Notably, the land for the wharf was purchased from Lord Petre, who lived at Dunkenhalgh hall. He was not too keen on the project, as he feared that poachers would use the canal towpath for nefarious purposes!
On the other side of the canal sits the old warehouse. This is now occupied by Wharf garage, while the old canal agent’s house is rented privately. Unfortunately, the canal side of the building is a bit of an eyesore, with blocked windows and graffiti-scarred doors.
The converted stable block once housed the many horses that pulled goods along the canal. Importantly, this wharf was the terminus of the canal for eight years. Consequently, By 1810 the canal had reached Blackburn and expansion took place at Enfield. Toll roads ran to Clitheroe, Blackburn, and Burnley.
Goods carried included flour, hops, malt, and Gin. In fact, many mills appeared along the canal in Clayton le Moors, as a result, cotton, flax, and leather were transported. Likewise, heavy and bulky cargoes such as iron, lead, and glass would have been loaded and unloaded here.
Building of the Canal
The Leeds and Liverpool canal was built in sections. Notably, it was first proposed as long ago as 1766. The canal is 127 miles long and crosses the Pennines. Moreover, the change of height to make a cross-Pennine route resulted in the need for many locks. The most famous being at Bingley. In fact, the first section to open was between Bingley and Skipton, in 1773.
The Leeds and Liverpool canal route completed
The entire route took fifty years to complete. Finally, the main route of the canal was completed in 1816 when it joined the Lancaster canal at Aspull.
The canal is now a major leisure route, although there is a constant battle to keep the aging infrastructure serviceable. A recent breach as Rishton has cut the route and is now under repair.