Worsley Green

The picturesque area of the Green is not, as many people might think, a traditional village green. Until c.1903 it was Worsley Yard, the centre of an industrial complex that mushroomed when work began on both the surface canal and the navigable level. It included a boat building yard, motor mill, timber yard, nail makers, wheelwrights, basketmakers and a warehouse. It is still possible to see the imprints in the grass where railway sidings ran.

Worsley Green monument

On the Green you will find Worsley's only monument to Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, “The Canal Duke”. This was constructed from the base of the Works Yard chimney. It was originally a fountain, though sadly now dry. The base carries a Latin inscription:

A lofty column breathing smoke and fire,
Did I the builder's glory once aspire,
Whose founder was that Duke who far and wide
Bridged water through Bridgewater's countryside.

Stranger! This spot, where once did never cease
Great Vulcan's year, would sleep in silent peace,
But beneath my very stones does mount
That water's source, his honour's spring and fount.

Alas! That I who gazed o'er field and town
Should to these base proportions dwindle down.
But all's not over, still enough remains
To testify past glories, duties, pain.

(Translation: Henry Hart Davies 1905)

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