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Monument record MDR8231 - Nutbrook Canal, Shipley to Stanton by Dale, Amber Valley and Erewash

Type and Period (1)

  • (Georgian to Mid 20th Century - 1794 AD to 1949 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The Nutbrook Canal was built as an independent branch of the Erewash Canal during the years 1793-6. It was intended from the first as an adjunct to the West Hallam and Shipley Collieries and carried little else but coal, iron and limestone. The surveyor was John Nuttall, under the direction of William Jessop. The necessary Act of Parliament was obtained on June 3 1793 and stipulated that work must begin from the Erewash Canal end of the line. Altogether the canal was to rise some 84 feet through thirteen locks, each large enough to accommodate the wide Trent barges already operating along the Erewash Canal. The lower section of the canal at Stanton was ready first, with the first tolls being taken on November 19 1794. The full length of the canal was completed in May 1796. The canal appears to have been relatively successful in its early years, as West Hallam Colliery in particular had no other outlet until the Midland Railway's Nutbrook and Shipley branch was completed in 1870. However, from the 1850s mining began to encroach beneath the canal works and seepage from the canal into the mines led to expensive claims being made by the collieries. This, together with problems of subsidence, led to difficulties in maintaining an adequate depth of water in the upper reaches of the canal and counter claims were made for the recovery of damages from the collieries. Constant repair work, together with the loss of traffic to the various railway branches constructed in the area in the 1870s and 1880s, led to a reappraisal of the canal company's financial state in 1895 that showed various debts and an overdraft. Traffic continued to decline, although the Stanton Ironworks Company continued to use the lower end of the Canal in the first half of the 20th century. Traffic appears to have finally ceased in 1949. After that time, various portions at the lower end were filled in and developed in connection with the expansion of the ironworks. (1) Short stretches of the canal still retain water with stone remains from former locks. In the area around the boundary of Ilkeston and Mapperley the canal has been destroyed by opencast working. (2) Baxter describes the route of the tramway for the Nutbrook or Shipley Canal as follows; 'Shipley: at Shipley Wharf, north-north-west to Shipley Colliery. Opened, 1805. Owner, Edward Miller Mundy. Traffic, coal. Mapperley: at Shipley Wharf, west to Old Mapperley Pit, south of Shipley Hall. Owner, Edward Miller Mundy. Traffic: coal. Abbotsford: At Abbotsford Wharf, east-north-east to Abbotsford Colliery. Traffic, coal. West Hallam: From a point north east of Lowcote Gate, west to West Hallam Colliery. Opened, 1817. Owner, Sir Henry Hunloke. Traffic, coal. Ferneyford: From canal arm extending from Straws Bridge Lock, west to Ferneyford Colliery (West Hallam). Opened, 1827. Dale Abbey: At Kirk Hallam, west-south-west to Dale Abbey Furnaces. Opened, 1798. Owner, Dale Abbey Furnace Co. Traffic, ironstone.' (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Stevenson, P. 1970. The Nutbrook Canal, Derbyshire.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1986. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part II - Borough of Erewash.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Baxter, B. 1966. Stone Blocks and Iron Rails.



Grid reference Centred SK 45382 41326 (3611m by 4943m) (Approximate)

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Record last edited

Jan 13 2022 10:16AM

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