- 16 Jan 08, 10:00 AM
This is the first in a series of postings from guest contributers to the BBC Manchester Blog. Guests are welcome to write about anything they have a passion for and if you'd like to be considered as a guest writer please contact us at the usual address - you don't even have to have a blog.
The Rochdale Canal by Paul of IckleWEB
Hidden away under the streets of Manchester lie large stretches of the historic canal network.
The majority of which have been reopened over recent years to enable the public to use and walk along their towpaths once more.
For those with a few hours to spare when in the city centre, there are some impressive feats of engineering to see.
Take for example the Rochdale Canal tunnel running under the Malmaison Hotel on London Road - I counted a total of 9 different structures making up the tunnel, the brick arches over the road being the oldest, other forms of construction including riveted metal beams and also modern concrete.
It was fascinating to see such a variation in construction techniques all in one place.
For me, the biggest surprise was what I found under the adjacent 111 Piccadilly tower block.
It is as if there is a small subterranean world down there that nobody is aware of - locks, a small loading dock and a colourful mural are all hidden away under the tower block.
The building itself has been constructed on many concrete columns which are unmissable but which enable the Rochdale Canal to remain navigable.
I would definitely recommend a wander along that section of canal heading out towards Ancoats as there is just so much to see from historical structures to new building developments.
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