Ashton-under-Lyne is situated about six miles to the east of Manchester, on the northern banks of the River Tame. The Portland Basin Museum at Ashton-under-Lyne is housed in the recently rebuilt Ashton Canal Warehouse. Admission is free (August 2001) and there are limited, safe moorings for those intending to cruise the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which starts here. If you intend to cruise 'The Huddersfield' this is your last chance to fill up with water as there are no other facilities until Diggle.
Ashton is at the junction of three canals, The Manchester and Ashton Canal, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Peak Forest Canal. Coal and other local raw products were transported easily and cheaply during the canals' heyday.
The museum is on two levels with a large,free, car park at the rear - picture 1. There is a representation of a 1920s street, with a house, school, shops, chapel and a pub.
Click on any of the photographs for an enlarged view
The lower floor displays goods produced in the Ashton area (Tameside) including hats, coal and textiles. Displays and models show the development of transport in the area, with a working model of a lock. Boat trips take place from the lower level canal waterfront.
For three days every year, around mid July, the Portland Basin hosts the large Tameside Canal Festival. Events include a funfair, live entertainment, refreshment and beer tents, craft marquees, various stalls, including canal related stalls and narrow boat rides.