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Monument record MDR10003 - Derby Canal, Swarkestone branch (route of), Derby and South Derbyshire

Type and Period (1)

  • (Georgian to Mid 20th Century - 1796 AD to 1964 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

In the early 1790s a group calling themselves the 'Derby Committee' began consultations with Benjamin Outram with a view to the construction of a Derby Canal connecting with the Grand Trunk system. The route as surveyed by Outram consisted of two main branches, one connecting the town with the Trent & Mersey Canal at Swarkestone (SMR 99012) and the other with the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre (SMR 99009). (1) The idea for the Derby Canal originated in 1791 and the project was finally approved with the passing of the Derby Canal Act on May 7 1793. It was opened in 1796. The waterway was 14.5 miles long, and consisted of a branch from the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre and another from the River Trent at Swarkestone, the two converging in Derby to form a large inland port. The canal was already in danger of closure in 1915, with commercial traffic ceasing to use it from 1945 onwards. Final abandonment came in December 1964. (2) Derby Canal Bed, Chellaston SK370347 to SK371301. This section of the Swarkestone arm of the Derby Canal has been completely filled in and is marked only by a public bridleway, cycle path and footpath. (3) The 1st ed. OS 25" shows that in Derby centre the canal joined the River Derwent just above Longbridge Weir, after passing through Cockpithill Wharf and a system of locks. (4) A number of bills and groups were consulted throughout the 1700s on the construction of the canal, with the first General Assembly of the Derby Canal Company was held on July 1st 1793. The canal was completed in 1796. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Swainson, C M. 1993. Waterways to Derby.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Derby and Sandiacre Canal Society. The Derby & Sandiacre Canal (pamphlet).
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2003. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part VII. City of Derby.. p 52.
  • <4> Personal Observation: Brown, J. Observation based on personal experience, map evidence, site visit etc..
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Smith, M. 1980. The Derby Canal.



Grid reference Centred SK 37261 29591 (2208m by 7132m)

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Record last edited

Oct 24 2023 2:01PM

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