The stream then descends the 10 miles through Macclesfield and Wilmslow where it meets the River Dean, near to Styal Prison.
As the 19th century progressed, the increasing need for large freight carriers led to Liverpool's dominance as a port, and Manchester became increasingly reliant on its Merseyside neighbour for its export industry.When the ports and railways had dominance of the trade, it was often cheaper to transport goods from Manchester over to Hull on the east coast, over twice the distance. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, by the expansion of the route of the Irwell and Mersey.This canal, which is just over 14.5 miles long, forms part of the British Inland Waterways Network. The upper level of the canal and tramway opened for trade on the 31 August 1796, and Bugsworth Basin soon became a bustling interchange between the tramway and canal. The River Bollin marks the eastern boundary between Warrington in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.It is a major tributary of the River Mersey, and one of the most placid, and is not heavily polluted.Just short of Whitelands, a short arm leaves Portland Basin (also in central Ashton), crosses the River Tame on the Tame Aqueduct, and makes a head-on junction with the Peak Forest Canal.
The Peak Forest Canal runs from a junction with the Ashton Canal at the southern end of the Tame Aqueduct at Dukinfield (grid reference SJ934984), through Newton, Hyde, Woodley, Bredbury, Romiley, Marple, Strines, Disley, New Mills, Furness Vale and Bridgemont to terminate at Bugsworth Basin (grid reference SK 021820 - the village is now called Buxworth) - and there is a short branch at Bridgemont to Whaley Bridge. The Macclesfield Canal runs for 26 miles (42 km) from Marple Junction, where it joins the upper Peak Forest Canal, and runs southwards (through Bollington, Macclesfield and Congleton) to a junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal at Hardings Wood, near Kidsgrove.The aqueduct carries the Bridgewater over the Bollin (images taken ).It rises in Macclesfield at the western end of the Peak District, and can be seen in spring form, from the Buxton to Macclesfield road.It was also known as the Runcorn and Latchford Canal (the name given on modern maps) and, in Warrington, the Black Bear Canal due its proximity to the Black Bear pub on Knutsford Road near Victoria Park.1981, Warrington Borough Council bought the land and converted it into a parkland, Black Bear Park, forming a line from Victoria Park through to Stockton Heath. Moore Nature Reserve is located alongside the route of the canal, which has now been converted into a pathway at that point.Traces of Twenty Steps Lock, which the later Manchester Ship Canal cut through, can be seen on the north bank below Northwich Road Swing Bridge.It flows through the lovely Styal country park and is used in the cotton calico factory there, as a source of power.