- Hits: 3245
The Nutbrook Canal was a canal in England between Shipley, Derbyshire and the Erewash Canal joining it near Trowell.
The Nutbrook Canal obtained its Act of Parliament in 1793 and was completed in 1796, designed by William Jessop with Benjamin Outram as engineer. The Erewash Canal opened in 1779 placing the coal mines around West Hallam and Shipley at a disadvantage with respect to those served by the new canal, resulting from their less efficient means of transport.
However only a short spur from the Erewash Canal had been built to connect with a wagonway to Lord Stanhope's estates at Stanton.
There was also a wooden wagonway from Shipley Gate on the Erewash Canal to Shipley Colliery.
The canal when built was 4½ miles long, with thirteen locks fed by Shipley Reservoir, which in turn was fed by the Nut Brook. The canal itself ran beside the Nut Brook for most of its length, diverging at its southern end towards its junction (later known as Nutbrook Junction) with the Erewash Canal just above Heath Lock.
There were two main branches from the main line. A branch from just below Moor's Bridge went to Sir Henry Hunloke's estate at West Hallam. A second, smaller branch left the main line just above Lock 3 to connect with Lord Stanhope's wagonway.
One of the canal's main users was in debt to the canal company towards the end of the nineteenth century. The majority of shareholders in the canal company decided to close most of the canal in 1895 in order to put pressure on the offenders to fulfil their obligations. These same shareholders were also users of the canal but they had already secured alternative transport for their goods by rail or along the Erewash Canal prior to closure. The debts were never recovered and the canal did not re-open.
The Stanton Ironworks stood across the junction of the Nutbrook and Erewash Canals (and still does under different ownership) and relied on the canal for the transport of its own goods and its main water supply. For this reason the lowermost one and a half miles of the canal remained open.
This part of the canal actually saw an increase in traffic during the Second World War in support of war efforts.
The last boat to use the canal left in 1949.
The Stanton Company purchased all remaining shares in the canal company in 1946 in order to safeguard its water supply and this is where ownership still lies.
The four-storey toll house at the junction of the Nutbrook and Erewash Canals remained until 1965 when it was demolished by the local council.
The Great Northern Railway Branch through Stanton Iron Works crossed the canal within the work's area. The bridge over which the railway crossed is notable for having been damaged during a bombing raid by German airships in 1916 during World War One.