The Barton Swing Aqueduct carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal.
Barton-upon-Irwell shown within Greater Manchester
|Population||10,434 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||Greater Manchester|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Worsley and Eccles South|
Barton Old Hall, a brick-built house degraded to a farmhouse, was the seat of the Barton, Booth and Leigh families. The church of St Catherine, built in stone with an octagonal spire rising to 100 feet (30 m), was consecrated in 1843. The church was demolished in the 1970s due to dry rot and the parish was merged with the neighbouring church of St Michael & All Angels, Peel Green.
Historically in Lancashire, Barton-upon-Irwell was a township in the ecclesiastical parish of Eccles in the hundred of Salford. Barton was joined with the municipal borough of Eccles in 1933 which was at the time part of the Lancashire administrative county. Eccles joined the City of Salford, Greater Manchester in 1974.
Barton lay about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) southwest of Manchester on both banks of the River Irwell from Trafford Park to Davyhulme and included the hamlet of Dumplington, now the site of the Trafford Centre. The Irwell was the boundary as far as the River Mersey, which with the Glazebrook were also boundaries.
The Lords of the Manor; the de Traffords were Roman Catholics and the Grade I listed All Saints' Church was built at their expense between 1865 and 1868 by Edward Welby Pugin. It ceased to be a parish church in 1961 and was taken over by the Friars Minor Conventual. Land for its graveyard given by the de Traffords is on the far side of the ship canal.
The de Traffords believed in religious freedom and paid for churches and chapels of other denominations. Between 1865 and 1868, the Church of England St Catherine's Church was built at their expense to the rear of All Saints' Church. It was demolished in the late 1970s. The graveyard remains and is the last resting place of Marshall Stevens.
Barton-upon-Irwell Methodist Chapel was located a short distance from the bridge. It was built in 1796, the buildings were taken over in 1973 by the Church of the Nazarene, but were later abandoned and demolished in 2001, the site was used for housing, causing controversy over the treatment of the graveyard by the developers.
Barton is situated on the north bank of the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Irwell. A pair of ship locks is located on the western edge of the district. It is also home to Barton Swing Aqueduct, which carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal. From the late 19th century, the road from Barton to Stretford was carried over the canal by a low-level swing bridge, the opening of which for shipping to pass caused lengthy traffic delays to vehicles.
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway, opened in 1830, passes through the township. Barton Aerodrome was opened on 1 January 1930 and was the first permanent municipal airfield in the United Kingdom. Scheduled internal passenger flights operated in 1930 and again from 1934 to 1938, when the services were transferred to the new larger Ringway Airport (now Manchester Airport). Several charter airlines and flying clubs were based at the airport prewar.
During the Second World War over 700 aircraft were built here by F. Hills & Son and over 1,000 military aircraft were repaired by several firms. In 1946, the Lancashire Aero Club, founded in 1924 and the oldest flying club in the UK, moved here from Woodford Aerodrome, Cheshire. Barton is now a thriving general aviation airfield owned by Peel Holdings and is the base for over 150 private and club aircraft.
Culture and cultural references
Featured in the last scene of the 1961 film A Taste of Honey, the Barton Aqueduct and Swing Bridge are seen as the character of Tom sails away. In the film's opening scenes of street life in Salford, two young children are seen playing. One of them, the 5-year-old Hazel Blears, grew up to become the Member of Parliament for Salford and a Cabinet Minister.
Barton is the location of the 12,000-capacity A J Bell Stadium, home ground of Sale Sharks RFU and Salford Red Devils Rugby League Club opened in 2012.
- "Barton-Upon-Irwell", A Topographical Dictionary of England (British History Online), 1848: 633–638, retrieved 2010-10-11
- Grice, Andrew (23 February 2007), 'Street socialist' Blears joins battle to replace Prescott, The Independent, retrieved 16 September 2008