About this image
Engraving dated 1845, by Thomas Frost which used to hang in Butterley Hall. The 'leggers' were allowed 3 hours to get through the 1 and 3/4 miles of tunnel, after which time boats were allowed through from the other end. It passed under the Butterley Ironworks. This view was lost in about 1889 when the tunnel was extended at the western end to accomodate the new railway from Ripley New Station (in the town) to Butterley Junction, which opened in 1889 and was closed in 1938. A new rather plain portal was constructed. After the canal closed, the tunnel was extended yet again to accomodate the A38 Ripley Bypass (about 30 years ago). This time a small armco portal was constructed with a simple concrete headwall, not large enough to accomodate a boat ! It is believed that these two extensions have extended the tunnel by about 100m. The 'original' eastern portal, in the Golden Valley, can be viewed and is still as originally built. 29_12_2006.