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The Agecroft power stations refers to a series of three now demolished coal-fired power stations, which were situated between the eastern bank of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal and the western bank of the River Irwell at Agecroft, Pendlebury, near Manchester, North West England. The stations operated between 1925 and 1993, and were demolished in 1994. HM Prison Forest Bank has since been built on the site.

Agecroft Power Station
MBB canal Agecroft Power Station.jpg
Agecroft Power Station in September 1985
CountryUnited Kingdom
LocationGreater Manchester, North West England
Coordinates53°30′55″N 2°18′03″W / 53.515401°N 2.300896°W / 53.515401; -2.300896Coordinates: 53°30′55″N 2°18′03″W / 53.515401°N 2.300896°W / 53.515401; -2.300896
Commission date1925
Decommission date1993
Operator(s)Salford Corporation Electricity Department
Central Electricity Generating Board
Thermal power station
Primary fuelCoal
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

grid reference SD800021



Agecroft Hall, an ancient manor house once occupied a site nearby, between Lumns Lane to the west and the Manchester to Bolton railway line and disused Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal to the east. It was dismantled by a new owner and shipped to Richmond, Virginia in the USA.[1]

The first power station on the site, Agecroft A Power Station, was formally opened by Alderman G. Billington, the Mayor of Salford, on Wednesday 23 September 1925. It was operated by the Salford Corporation Electricity Department.[1][2] After nationalisation the station was operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board.[1]

The station was then extended in the 1960s with the construction of a B station and a C station. Agecroft B and C power stations were officially opened in 1962 and the event was commemorated with a plaque.[3]


A stationEdit

The A station used three 12,500 and one 20,000 kilowatt (kW) turbo generators to produce a total generating capacity of 57,500 kW. Following the rebuilding of some of the original chain grate coal fired boilers in the A station as oil fired units the needed extra steam capacity required for the 20,000 kW unit was supplied from the B station extra boiler capacity via a steam line several hundred feet in length. The pressure step down valves were located at the B station [1]

B and C stationsEdit

The B station used two 55 megawatt (MW) generating sets, and C Station used two 124 megawatt (MW) sets giving a total generation capacity of 358 MW across the two.[4]


A Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn-built 0-4-0ST pauses while shunting waggons at the power station in 1976.

The stations used cooling water from the River Irwell and the B and C stations were cooled by four large natural draft cooling towers situated close to the banks of the Irwell.[5]

Three steam locomotives were built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1948 to shunt coal wagons at the A station and later the B and C stations. However, with the nationalisation of the UK's electric supply industry, the locomotives became almost entirely redundant as a conveyor belt was constructed to carry coal directly across Agecroft Road (A6044) and into the station from Agecroft Colliery.[6] The colliery continued to supply the stations until its closure in March 1991.[1] Despite this however, locomotives were still used to shunt waggons of coal to and from the colliery.[7] The surplus of locomotives were sold in 1980s. After being retired in 1980, Agecroft No. 1 was saved from scrapping by being bought by a private owner. It was purchased by the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester in a dismantled state in 2008, where it underwent a 3-year restoration costing £120,000.[8][9] Agecroft No. 2 was bought by the Ribble Steam Railway and sent to Southport for restorations in December 1982.[6] Agecroft No. 3 is going under full restoration at the Whitwell & Reepham railway station in Norfolk.

Closure and demolitionEdit

Agecroft Colliery was closed in March 1991 and the closure of the power station was announced in November 1992.[7] The station closed in March 1993, and demolition commenced later that year.[10] The cooling towers and two main stacks were demolished on 8 May 1994. Their demolition was delayed because a pair of rare peregrine falcons had nested on the site.[11] HM Prison Forest Bank has since been built on the station's site.[12] It houses category B male offenders and was opened in January 2000.[1]

Cultural useEdit

In 1983, the stations were the subject of a photograph by British landscape photographer John Davies.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Agecroft Power Station, site of, Engineering Timelines, archived from the original on 4 April 2012, retrieved 25 November 2011
  2. ^ Opening Agecroft Power Station. 1925. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Acquisition and Disposal Policy 2005–2009" (PDF). p. 51. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  4. ^ "The European Fossil-fuelled Power Station Database Used in the SEI CASM Model" (PDF). Stockholm Environment Institute. 1996. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  5. ^ Longhurst, James WS (December 1989). "Oxides of nitrogen in the greater Manchester conurbation, UK". The Environmentalist. Springer Netherlands. 9 (4): 253. doi:10.1007/BF02241825. ISSN 0251-1088. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Agecroft No.2". Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Agecroft Profile". Archived from the original on 9 September 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  8. ^ "Appeal to let steam loco ride again". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  9. ^ "About Agecroft No. 1". Museum of Science and Industry. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  10. ^ Keeling, Neal (17 February 2007). "Salford brewery changes Dr Who artwork". Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  11. ^ "Demolition of Agecroft Power Station video footage". ITN News. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  12. ^ "Forest Bank". Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  13. ^ Hoppen, Michael. "John Davies". Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.

External linksEdit

  • YouTube – opening Agecroft Power Station 1925
  • YouTube – agecroft Power Station operating in 1962
  • YouTube – steeplejacks on Agecroft Power Station's chimney in 1982
  • YouTube – demolition of Agecroft Power Station's cooling towers and chimneys in 1994
  • YouTube – alternate view of cooling tower and chimney demolition
  • Photographs - interior and external photographs of the stations
  • Flickr - Agecroft's Last Day set on Flickr