Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gadsden family history and the Canal Duke

The Packet House at Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal

The Duke of Bridgewater built this canal in 1761. On the left is the Packet House, its 'Elizabethan' modifications carried out in Victorian times, where the Queen's (i.e. Victoria's) barge landed when visiting the Duke. Here also passengers to Manchester and Runcorn embarked.

This photograph is by the late David Tasker a descendant whose direct line comprised Gadsden tenant farmers on the Bridgewater Estates. 

The 'Canal Duke' came from Ashridge, Little Gaddesden and is of the same Bridgewater/Egerton/Brownlow family which until recently owned most of Little and Great Gaddesden.

The white building in the background is the 1725 Nailmaker's House and is the oldest building in Worsley (Manchester). It was featured on a dinner service made for Catherine the Great by Wedgewood when he visited the Duke's canal. The service is now preserved in the Hermitage, Leningrad (St Petersburg).

The Duke allowed his home Ashridge to fall into disrepair whilst he was concentrating on building the canal.

Note the red colour of the water from iron in the world's longest underground canal tunnels nearby.

David Tasker

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