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Irwell Sculpture Trail Circular Walk is a 8.9 mile loop trail located near Manchester, Greater Manchester, England that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking.

Length 8.9 mi Elevation gain 830 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Walking Partially paved River Views City walk Historic site
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NOTE: There are some passageways closed off due to the construction of new tram lines around the Quays and remember that Pamona Wharf is private property. The trail includes many sculptures of the Irwell Sculpture Trail in the Salford Keys/Ordsall area and also the Chapel Street area of Salford. They were linked together by following the River Irwell on each side and the Castlefield area of Manchester. The Irwell Sculpture Trail Extends to over 33 miles through Salford, Bury, and Rossendale with over 70 artworks. Together with the history of the docks this is a fascinating area of discovery. In order visited - On Trafford Wharf - Casuals (2010) represents Dock Worker's Union Cards required before workers were allowed to apply for casual labour. Silent Cargoes (1996) commemorates the centenary of Trafford Park, the largest industrial site in the world, and portray the changing activities. Trafford Road Bridge is the largest and widest of the swing bridges across the ship canal. It allowed ships to enter Pomona Docks. "Soapworks" on the opposite bank was a former Colgate - Palmolive manufacturing site, now developed as office space. Pomona Docks was a set of 5 docks, only dock 3 remains intact which serves as a point of contact with the Bridgewater Canal, the Hulme Lock upriver being redundant. The dock area is now wasteland but had been built on the site of the Pomona Gardens, named after the Roman goddess Pomona. Later leave the Irwell at Worden's footbridge, the limit of the ship canal, to join the Bridgewater Canal (1765) into Castlefield where it meets the Rochdale Canal (1805). Castlefield was an 'inland port' linking the Irish and North Sea's for the first time. It is now a very desirable area of converted warehouses and apartments and a 'Little Venice'. Castlefield is named after the Roman Fort once sited here. The many railway viaducts, with castellation embellishments, add to the aura. Next is Liverpool Road Station (1830) which was the world's first passenger railway station opened by the Duke of Wellington and now part of the 'Museum of Science and Industry'. Prince's Bridge relocated here in 1905 may soon be no more as a new rail link is proposed called the 'Ordsall Chord' to join Victoria and Piccadilly Stations. Granada Studios (1956 - 2013) is now relocated to Trafford Wharf next to the War Museum. It was the oldest operating purpose-built TV studios in UK, home to the worlds longest serial drama 'Coronation Street'. On Chapel Road Salford (A6) which is being heavily redeveloped there is fasinating history associated with - Salford Cinema, Manchester and Salford Savings Society, Salford Cathedral and Salford Royal Hospital all grade II listed buildings. Artworks - 'The Whole World is a Garden' (2011) and Seed' (2002) After visiting Peel Park alongside the river - Monument to the Third Millennium (2000), Fabric of Nature (2002) it was back to the River Irwell on the opposite bank to reach Ordsall Hall, the seat of the Radclyffe family for over 300 yrs up until 1662. It is in the hands of Salford City Council and is well worth a visit. The walk continues into Salford Keys which is worth visiting on its own account - Four Corners Sculpture and many more!

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Sian Kilmartin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2019
Hiking

A lot of the walk is currently blocked off my roadworks and building works so I didn't complete it on my first attempt.

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