Book a tour – Coal, Canal and Cake

Every Saturday at 2pm 14:00 – 16:30 approx.

Join us for a tour exploring the history of the Bridgewater Canal in Salford and the hidden clues of its link to the coal deep in seams underground. 

Worsley Village was once the hub of a thriving industry built upon the coal belonging to the Duke of Bridgewater in the 18th Century.  

His life’s work centred around how to make the transport of coal from his land to the growing city of Manchester possible and most importantly profitable!

We follow the path of history and heritage from the Duke and his canal to his descendant the Earl of Ellesmere and his own personal project, St Mark’s Church. A grade 1 listed building designed by the eminent architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. 

We finish the walk with included cake and refreshments to digest the incredible changes to industrial Britain, which can in part be credited to the ingenuity of the Duke, his workers and those that followed in his footsteps. 

Please note visits to St Mark’s Church may be limited on certain dates according to the church events schedule.

Booking Essential


Book a tour – Worsley Wonder

1st Saturday of every month 11am


Join our regular tours of Worsley by fully qualified Green Badge guides for the Bridgewater Canal in Salford

Tours: 1st Saturday of every month

11am Meet outside the Delph Bar & Restaurant

Booking recommended due to group size limitations

Alexandra Fairclough

Alexandra Fairclough

I am Alexandra (Alexatours) and I’m a recently qualified Green Badge Guide. As a Lancashire lass with a passion for local history, I can provide a meet & greet service as well as public and bespoke tours and assistance & information on cultural, historical and contemporary heritage of this fascinating area- ‘the cradle of the Industrial Revolution’.

In addition to tours, I do talks and lectures at educational establishments, religious and historical sites, museums and at venues of other significant interest and attractions. If you are looking for a fun-fact educational tour or walk, let me share my passion for local history, the arts and our industrial past.

In addition to my listed public tours, I can provide private / school walks as well as talks for U3A groups, local history groups and family parties.

I am a member of Manchester Guided Tours as well as Bridgewater Canal Guided Tours. (I also offer tours of Cheshire by arrangement)
Tel 07956 226699
FB @bricksandwatertours
Twitter @Bricks_andwater

Barton Trafford and Castlefield Talk (Zoom)

Thursday 13th May 7:00 pm – 8:00pm BST

From the Romans to the present day, we travel through time to see the wonders of industry, transport, technology, art, architecture + leisure

Grab yourself a coffee or tipple and sit comfortably in your favourite armchair. I will then step back in time to show you how our the rural hamlet of Barton evolved and how a Cathedral in miniature came to be built. We will be looking at two major transport routes…the Dukes Cut and the Big Ditch.  I will also tell you a bit about Trafford Park a medieval deer park than transformed into  the first industrial park in the world.  We will visit pleasure Gardens and art exhibitions enroute to Castlefield where I can show you a Roman Fort and some amazing Victorian Infrastructure.   
Using maps and images, we will discover people and communities that created these areas and the main players and their achievements.

Cost £5 plus booking fee (early bird offer) or £8

Historic Halls of Worsley Talk (Zoom)

Sunday May 16 2021

4:00 PM – 5:15 PM BST

Discover the architecture and history of Worsley’s grand houses and halls of the past, present and exciting future inc a peek at the new RHS

Alexandra, an architectural historian, a conservation & design officer and a qualified guide, will explore the history and buildings of this remarkable village.

Together, using maps and images, and maybe a little music, we will discover the amazing people, the communities and their buildings that created Worsley; a village that changed the direction of the world in the C18th.

Starting at Worsley Old Hall, we’ll travel 500 years to the present day to explore the stately halls and other remarkable buildings in a fun factual way as well as take a little glimpse into the new development of the RHS Bridgewater Garden, on the former Worsley New Hall site, that opens 18th May 2021. Buy your tickets now!!!

Hopefully, afterwards you will look at the place and buildings in a different light. 

I look forward to meeting you all online.

Cost £5 plus booking fee (early bird fee) or £8

Zoom-in Talk:Discover Salford: Chapel St – University

Date: Wednesday 24th March 19:00 GMT

With Alexandra Fairclough, Green Badge Guide for the Bridgewater Canal

An entertaining and factual tour of the buildings people and places that make this globally important but often overlooked interesting city.

Grab yourself a coffee or tipple and sit comfortably in your favourite armchair. I will then step back in time to show you how our city evolved. Firstly it was a county which included the hamlet of Manchester, then it became the centre of the world.

Unfortunately it was then overtaken in prominence by the powerhouse we know as Manchester. Using maps and images, we will discover people and communities that created Salford and their achievements.

Starting at Greengage Square and travelling up the A6 we will look at Chapel Street and The Crescent and its environment. We’ll also take a peek at a few other important Salford landmarks too, including a glimpse of Worsley. 

Hopefully, afterwards you will look at the streets and buildings in a different light. I look forward to meeting you all online.

Cost: £5 plus booking fee

27th March The Water Road to Manchester – A Bridgewater Canal virtual tour

Booking Link:

Sat, 27 March 2021 16:00 – 17:00 GMT

The Bridgewater Canal in Salford contains the oldest and the youngest parts of the 39 miles of the UK’s first commercial canal.

Explore this five-mile stretch of history where we will learn about how the area embraced coal, cotton, Suffragettes, brilliant engineers (and their engineering – mostly but not always.)

See the Castle in the Air and a cathedral in miniature – and how this all came about because of a lovelorn nobleman and a very important wheel of Cheshire cheese.

Look out for ‘God forgotten’ Worsley, the church built to enlighten them, a lighthouse 30 miles from the sea and the world’s only swing aqueduct at Barton.

Tickets to America, ghost stories, royalty and the weight of the world all feature in this virtual tour by Elizabeth Charnley, Green Badge guide for the Bridgewater Canal in Salford.

17th March Zoom-in Talks – A History of GB by Nursery Rhymes

with Alexandra Fairclough, Green Badge Guide for the Bridgewater Canal

We all love nursery rhymes but do we understand the possible meanings behind them? Join me to explore the dark side of the nursery rhyme!

When? Wed, March 17, 2021 7:00 PM – 8:15 PM GMT

Every culture in the world has invented  songs and rhymes for its’ young.  Did you know they were a way of spreading news through a generally illiterate society much like social media were a method of gossiping too.

Of course the distinctive sing-song metre, tonality and rhythm that characterises ‘motherese’, has a proven evolutionary value and this is reflected in the very nature of nursery rhymes. Whilst we all know the benefits of nursery rhymes which includes emotional connections and language development do we really understand their possible meanings.  They tell us the history of our island through coded words. Its truly fascinating.

Join me, a former early years music practitioner, to learn the amazing histories and theories behind our great nursery rhymes.

This zoom talk is open to all regardless of age, geographic location, etc. and since it is an online/virtual event via Zoom you can connect from anywhere in the world.


Explore the picturesque village…but all is not what it seems! Hear the story of 3 stately homes & the houses in this beautiful village.

A talk by Alexandra Fairclough Green Badge Guide for the Bridgewater Canal

Sat February 27th 2021 7:00 – 8:15 PM GMT

Grab yourself a coffee or tipple and sit comfortably in your favourite armchair. I will then step back in time to show you how wonderful Worsley evolved. Its history is hidden from obvious view.  Using maps and images, we will discover people and communities that created this famous cradle of the industrial revolution including famous people and their achievements and lesser known men and women whose blood and sweat we benefit from today. 

Hopefully, afterwards you will look at the streets and buildings in a different light. I look forward to meeting you all online.

Bridgewater Guided Tours set fee for virtual tours is £8 per household but as an introductory offer I’m doing a limited number of early bird price of £5 per household plus booking fee. When the early bird tickets are gone – they’re gone, so book now! 

I’m donating my profit to Worsley Civic Trust and History Society to help support them. 

This zoom talk is open to all regardless of age, geographic location, etc. and since it is an online/virtual event via Zoom you can connect from anywhere in the world.

Zoom events have a limit on the number of people that can participate and therefore the event may “sell-out” once a certain number of registrations has been reached.

Min number is 10 participants to go ahead. (Full refund if it doesn’t go ahead).

Zoom connection link will be emailed.

Login info will emailed approximately 8-24 hours prior to the event to those that registered through the Eventbrite.

If you’ve successfully registered you’ll receive an email confirmation from Eventbrite.

If you haven’t received the Zoom connection an hour before the event feel free to contact me.

Zoom Connection Suggestions:

Connecting to Zoom a few minutes early is strongly recommended.

This is a visual presentation so the bigger device screen that you can use the better.

To join the event simply click the Zoom link that is emailed separately and follow the instructions.

If clicking the link doesn’t work you can try copying and pasting it instead.

Depending on the device Zoom may work better in some browsers/devices than others – if one doesn’t work try another.

If you are disconnected for any reason please just reconnect.

When all else fails please read and follow the directions. : )


On Worsley Green there is an iron bollard sat on its own and looking very out of place.

Worsley Yard Iron Bollard

Have you ever wondered why it is there?

What is a bollard?

A bollard is a sturdy, short, vertical post and originally described a post on a ship or wharf used principally for using ropes to secure boats.

The word is probably related to bole, referring to a tree trunk.

From the 17th and 18th centuries, old cannon were often buried muzzle first to be used as bollards on quaysides.

From the 19th century bollards were purpose-made, but often inherited a similar “cannon” shape.

What about our bollard?

Worsley Green used to be a busy industrial yard dating from the opening of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761. The yard built up around the Delph area to service the mines and canal at Worsley. It was not until the early 20th century that the yard was turned into the green that we know today. Our bollard is one of the last remnants of Worsley Yard.


An Ordnance Survey (OS) map from 1848 shows a mineral railway from Sanderson Pit (colliery), just east of Roe Green to the coal staithe on the canal at Worsley. At the time the coal wagons were moved by gravity and horses.

In 1864 the Eccles, Tyldesley & Wigan Railway opened which ran through Worsley Woods between Monton Green and Roe Green. It was connected to the mineral railway at Sanderson’s Siding. This led to the first steam locomotive being delivered to Worsley Yard in 1870 to replace horsepower and a branch line with an engine shed was built.

The OS map from around 1900 shows the area of the yard and the railway with location of new houses and green superimposed:

The bollard is opposite house No.146 and is shown on the map next to the railway that crossed the yard.  It was close to the engine shed and was possibly used to tie up locomotive or wagons.

In 1905 the yard was cleared of almost all evidence of its industrial past and the houses we see today were built around what we now know as Worsley green.  All that remains is the base of the yard chimney which became the Duke of Bridgewater memorial, the sluice for the culverted Worsley Brook, the ‘ghosts’ of the railway sleepers…And of course, our own ‘Worsley Yard Iron Bollard’ which is now over 150 years old and if sentient would have stories to tell.

Map of Worsley Green: From Ordnance Survey map survey of 1889, revised in 1904 and published 1908 (Image copied from Alan Godfrey Maps edition published 2003).

Thanks for additional detail of houses built around the Green and map provided by John Aldred.

Written by Mark Charnley, Bridgewater Canal Green Badge Guide.