Although there was some surface mining in Westwood [see SMR 13007], access to the deeper coal seams was gained through a tunnel. This tunnel, known as the Hollingwood Tunnel or the Hollingwood Common Tunnel, was constructed between 1770 and 1777. It met the Chesterfield Canal at Troughbrook, where there were warehouses and wharves belonging to Staveley Forge, but did not actually connect with it, being culverted beneath the navigation. From this point it extended southwards, following the line of the coal. The tunnel was 2.8km long, passing beneath Ringwood and ending underneath Westwood, being 80 yards from the surface at its southern end. The dimensions of the tunnel were small - only 1.76m wide and 1.85m high. The depth of water was stated to be around 0.6m, leaving only 1.25m of headroom above the water surface. The boats used were extremely narrow and considerably shorter than the 'surface' canal boats, being just over a metre wide and 6.41m long. The tunnel appears to have been used until c. 1840, when the Chesterfield Canal was re-routed by the construction of the London and North Eastern Railway. The connection between the Canal and the Hollingwood Tunnel at Troughbrook was destroyed, and access to the tunnel cut off. Several ventilation shafts have survived. One of these stands at the edge of Westwood and it was through this that one Captain Dick and a Mr Purcell gained access to the tunnel for an exploration in 1912, when it was described as being in a good state of preservation. (1)
Unpublished document: Belford, P (ARCUS). 457. Desk-based assessment of land at Westwood and Phipps Open Holes, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. HER Doc. No. 457; pp. 5-6.
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Centred SK 4168 7379 (435m by 1935m)
STAVELEY, CHESTERFIELD, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Oct 31 2019 11:16AM
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