Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield HD7 6NQ
Standedge Tunnel is the longest canal tunnel in Britain. Not only is it the longest, it is also the deepest and highest!
The tunnel is situated in the idyllic Pennine countryside, in Marsden. The tunnel was authorised to be built in 1794, however there were lots of issues which pushed the build back further and further.
Initially there were financial issues which pushed back the completion date of the tunnel, and then there were issues with rising water levels which had increased more than anticipated. This led to problems with attaining skilled workers and therefore some tenders pulled out of the build.
In 1807 there was a new plan put together, to ensure the tunnel was completed. This plan was actioned and the tunnel went ahead, opening shortly after in 1811.
There are four tunnels linked together with cross tunnels. During the 90’s, the tunnels were restored and large budgets were invested to facilitate the restoration. In 2001 the tunnel was re-opened after the restoration, and traffic was allowed to pass through the tunnel again.
The visitor centre was previously a warehouse which was used to store goods between journeys. The warehouse exhibits the history of the tunnels and is a great place to visit to learn about the build and restoration of the tunnels.
The visitor centre is free to enter and you can take 30-minute canal boat trips through the tunnel. There are electric tugs which push the passenger carrying barge when experiencing the tunnels on the canal.
Alongside the visitors centre, there is a café situated within the old tunnel cottages, serving tea and cake to visitors. The old tunnel cottages previously housed the canal maintenance workers, and is therefore the perfect location for experiencing the canals history.