The Pinxton Canal was opened in 1793, at the same time as the main Cromford Canal. It ran at summit level from Codnor Park Reservoir to Pinxton, a distance of approximately two miles, with no locks. A number of tramways ran to the canal bringing coal not only from the Pinxton area but also from Birchwood and Somercotes. The canal was such a success that plans were drawn up to extend it to Mansfield, but many locks would have been needed and a good supply of water could not be guaranteed. As a result, a horse-drawn railway was built instead, opening in 1819. The construction of the railway generated traffic for the Cromford Canal and its Pinxton branch, which carried stone from the Whatstandwell quarries and rails from the Butterley company. The canal continued in use until the outbreak of the First World War, although some barges travelled to the Pye Bridge Chemical Works as late as the early 1930s. Today it makes an interesting walk to follow the line of the Pinxton Canal, although in places it has been filled in and opencast working has obliterated other parts. The walk begins at Codnor Park Reservoir where may still be seen a bridge under which the Pinxton Canal began. Passing along the wall of the reservoir, the walk passes behind Ironville church and then under the Ridding-Ironville road. After crossing Nottingham Lane a path leads through an area landscaped following opencast mining. At Pye Bridge the bed of the canal can be clearly seen as far as the Erewash Valley railway bridge. Beyond the bridge, the canal has been filled in until within half a mile of Pinxton. From there to the terminal basin the canal is well watered and the basin itself has been well restored. (1)
Map evidence indicates that the basin in its current form post-dates 1918. (2) The eastern terminus of the canal as mapped is based on the Pinxton Tithe Map of 1838. (3)
The restored canal basin and small restored stretch of canal are now the only reminder of Pinxton's role as a major early focus of the coal industry. The Pinxton arm of the Cromford Canal was completed in 1794; it is now completely severed at Ironville. (4)
Article in serial: Key, B R. 1994. 'The Pinxton Canal', Heanor & District Local History Society Newsletter No. 193 (September).
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1912-1921. OS County Series, 3rd edition (Second Revision), scale 1:2500 (25" to one mile).
Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. p 9.
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Centred SK 43937 53000 (1972m by 2793m)
IRONVILLE, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
SOMERCOTES, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
PINXTON, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jan 4 2018 2:58PM
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