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The canal during World War Two

World War Two – preparations for an invasion via Morecambe Bay

Why the concern that this area would be invaded?

Morecambe Bay is relatively shallow, and the beaches are long and flat, with the agricultural land around being also fairly flat.

There were concerns that if Germany invaded Ireland (which was neutral) they would have an easy route for an invasion via the Irish Sea coast around Morecambe Bay.  So a defensice stop line was set up in order to repel invading forces.

The canal itself would have been a barrier to enemy movement, but further measures were put in place along its length, and the whole of the canal from Garstang up to, and including the Glasson Branch was fortified.

The landward side of the bridges on this stretch of the canal were fortified with large concrete blocks or tank traps, so that in the event of an invasion steel cables could be stretched across the road to slow enemy progress.

The parapets along this part of the canal were removed and replaced with metal rails through concrete posts.  This was so that the emeny had no cover while they were trying to get past the obstruction of the wires and could be easily seen and shot at.

The bridges that have metal rails replacing the stone parapets are not listed structures as they have been modified from their original state, but those that still retain the stone parapets are listed at Grade 2.

There are the remains of tank traps at Bridge 76, and also some of the steel wire still attached to one of the loops.