The Macclesfield Canal is a canal in east Cheshire, England, one of the six that make up the Cheshire Ring. The canal runs 26 miles (42 km) from Marple Junction at Marple, where it joins the Upper Peak Forest Canal, 16 miles (26 km), southwards (through Bollington and Macclesfield), before arriving at Bosley.
Having descended the 12 Bosley Locks over the course of about a mile (1.6 km), the canal continues through Congleton to a junction with the Hall Green Branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal at Hall Green stop lock (the branch itself joins the main line a mile further on at Hardings Wood Junction, near Kidsgrove).
The Hall Green Branch, whilst originally built by the Trent & Mersey Canal Company, is often considered as part of the Macclesfield Canal in modern maps and guidebooks. Hall Green Stop Lock survives, with its rise and fall of about a foot; this was to prevent the Trent & Mersey losing water to the Macclesfield in the event of a breach in the latter. There was also a Stop Lock at Marple, although both canals were built to the same level, and the lock was provided only for cases where water shortages might have resulted in a temporary difference. The lock has long been de-gated, having become unnecessary once the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals came into common ownership. The site of the lock remains as a narrows just in front of the junction bridge, as seen in the accompanying picture, overhung by a loading canopy.
The only flight of locks on the canal, at Bosley, are unusual for a narrow canal in having mitre gates at both ends, rather than the usual arrangement of a single top gate. There are no tunnels on the Macclesfield Canal, but there are several impressive embankments, e.g. at Bollington and High Lane on the upper section, and over The River Dane on the lower section, close to Bosley bottom lock. The Macclesfield Canal is renowned for its elegant roving bridges, locally known as Snake Bridges.