As cut, the Lower Peak Forest Canal ran on the level from its junction with the Ashton Canal, at the south end of the Tame Aqueduct, through three tunnels, Butterhouse Green (176 yards), Hyde Bank (308 yards) and Rose Hill (100 yards), and then over the three-arched Marple Aqueduct (or Grand Aqueduct) to the foot of the Marple flight of 16 locks. Rose Hill Tunnel had a towpath through it but boats could not pass. Because of its proximity to Marple Aqueduct the tunnel was sometimes referred to as Aqueduct Tunnel and another name used was Mancomb Tunnel. The section of canal between the tunnel and the aqueduct was known as Aqueduct Basin.
In 1833, a major earth slip occurred near Rose Hill Tunnel, known as the Gaskell Wood Slip. This necessitated some bank reconstruction and the building of supports to counter any further slips. However, this was a sign of worse to come. A tithe map of 1849 shows the tunnel was still extant in that year. At an unrecorded date between 1849 and 1888 the tunnel roof collapsed and the damage was so extensive that it was decided to open it up and make a cutting. The opened out tunnel is now known as Rose Hill Cutting.
The tithe map does not show Occupation (or Occupation Mancomb) Bridge (No. 15) abutting the west portal of the tunnel but it is understood that it was contemporary with the construction of the canal, dating from 1804. This bridge was provided for the benefit of the local farmer to give him continuity of access to his fields.
Rose Hill Tunnel
Lower Peak Forest Canal
Grid Ref: SJ 953 900
Tithe Map: 1849, Ref: EDT 341/2
Courtesy: Cheshire Archives & Local Studies
|Rose Hill Cutting undergoing repairs, 1997.
The gradient of the cutting is being reduced on the north side and a concrete retaining wall has been constructed to withstand ground pressure from the hillside. This photograph shows the concrete wall being faced with stone.
|Rose Hill Cutting, 24 February 2006.
Occupation Bridge can be seen in the background.
|Occupation Bridge (No.15), 25 February 2006.|