Manchester has a special place in the history of Britain's waterways, as it was to supply Manchester that the Duke of Bridgewater started building his canal in 1759. Although not Britain's first, this was the canal whose success sparked off the first "Canal Age". The availability of cheap transport, and hence cheap fuel and other raw materials, stimulated industrial growth in the region. The subsequently improved markets for local mines, quarries and factories led in turn to the building of further canals, such as the Manchester Ship Canal, opened in 1894. This map covers the area bounded by Bolton, Partington, Stalybridge and Castleton at a scale of about 1.3 inches to 1 mile. It has been compiled from original sources by an experienced historian of canals and canal maps and is the first to show in detail all the local waterways, both existing and abandoned, including the many miles of underground canal in the Duke of Bridgewater's collieries. The map is about 16" by 25", folded into a laminated card cover.