Walk west beyond Eccles, heading along the Manchester Ship Canal towards Irlam and at Barton you come across the Barton Swing Bridge that carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal. The Bridgewater Canal came from the Worsley coal mines and in to Manchester. The original aqueduct built in 1761 was an ambitious construction carrying the canal 38 feet above the Ship Canal.
To enable larger and taller vessels to use the Manchester Ship Canal this aqueduct was demolished and replaced by a swing aqueduct that was completed in 1893. The channel of water can be sealed at each end forming what is in effect a tank that is 235 feet long and 18 feet wide and swung on a central pivot that allows ships to pass either side of it. This is an engineering wonder and apparently the only swing aqueduct in the world. The Swing Bridge is adjacent to the Barton Road Swing Bridge and the two bridges share the same control tower.
Barton Swing Bridge was designed by the engineer Edward Leader Williams who was also involved in the building the Manchester Ship Canal and the Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire. Rarely used today, the Barton Swing Bridge continues to be in working order and has protection as a listed building. This bridge is just another surprising feature you find when you walk around Salford.