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Tapton Tunnel on the Chesterfield Canal, Tapton, Chesterfield, 1991
8 June 1991
About this image
The north end of Tapton Tunnel (officially Bridge No 1A) on the Chesterfield Canal with the recently restored Tapton Lock (Lock No 1) in the foreground. The Tunnel is in reality a long bridge that was constructed in the mid-1980s to take the A619 Rother Way dual carriageway link plus a new associated access road called Tapton Lock Hill over the waterway.
The Canal opened in 1777 and connected Chesterfield with the River Trent at West Stockwith via Worksop and Retford, a distance of 46 miles. The section from Chesterfield towards Worksop saw little or no use after the closure of the narrow and lengthy Norwood Tunnel on the Canal's summit level in 1908 (as a result of damage from mining subsidence) but Tapton Mill to Staveley remained reasonably intact to provide a water supply for the iron-making and chemical plants at Staveley Works.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust has long term plans to reopen the canal all the way from its terminus at Chesterfield to the present head of navigation at the eastern end of Norwood Tunnel at Kiveton Park. Between 1989 and 2012 reinstatement of the length from Tapton to Staveley was completed in stages with navigation restored first to the stretch from Tapton Lock to Tapton Mill Bridge in 1994. The renovation of Tapton Lock itself had been completed in 1990, shortly before this photo was taken.