Know your Village
Bygone Transport Systems The Nutbrook Canal
The Nutbrook Canal Act of 1793 authorised the building and maintaining of a navigable canal from collieries at Shipley and West Hallam, joining the Erewash Canal at Stanton. Chief promoters were Edward Miller Mundy of Shipley Hall and Sir Henry Hunloke of Wingerworth Hall near Chesterfield. He became owner of West Hallam by deed of gift from Henry Powtrell, who was married to Ann Hunloke, aunt of Sir Henry.
The canal built 4 ½ miles long, had 13 locks, numbered from the Erewash junction, two arms were cut from the main navigation. One of these, the Hunloke branch can still be seen situated in the field on the south side of the A609. (Opposite the entrance to the Straw's Bridge car park). A tall hawthorne hedge identifies its route. Straw's Bridge was named after Samuel Straw, the canal overseer who lived in a cottage near the bridge which took the main road over the canal.
Three reservoirs supplied water to the canal. Shipley reservoir was the old original lake situated at the head of the canal. The new Mapperley reservoir was built as a second main supply. Like most canals it was troubled with leakages, subsidence and drought, the 1850's being the longest period of below average rainfall. Trying to solve this water shortfall resulted in building a third smaller reservoir, Hawley's Pond. A Dam wall 100 yards long was built of stone rubble, spanning Mapperley Brook, thus creating a large holding pool. This overgrown area, built to the east of Mapperley Lane can be seen today.
The Nutbrook Canal, Derbyshire