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Works Road Bridge (Bridge No 8C) on the Chesterfield Canal looking west with Hollingwood Lock (Lock No 5) just visible through the opening and the former lock-keeper's cottage to the right. Dereliction is rife: the canal is blocked by rubbish, the bridge has lost one of its coping stones and the cottage is bricked up and empty.
The Chesterfield 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. This section was purchased by Derbyshire County Council in 1989.
With origins going back to 1976, 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. Between 1989 and 2012 reinstatement of the length from Tapton to Staveley was completed in stages with Hollingwood Lock rejuvenated in 1993. Subsequently, in 2011 this location became the Hollingwood Hub with a modern building constructed to the rear of the cottage, the combined complex housing the Trust's headquarters, a meeting room and a cafe.
It should be noted that this portion of the Canal was not part of the original 1777 route. Between Killamarsh and Chesterfield railway construction in the 1890s by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (which by then owned the Canal and was soon after re-styled as the Great Central Railway) caused a number of substantial realignments in order to avoid bridge building and to straighten the course of the waterway, and this was one such. Previously, the Canal adopted a more sinuous and northerly course at Hollingwood, passing through the heart of Staveley Iron Works and including a lock named Cinderhill (which Hollingwood Lock replaced). This accounts for why Works Road Bridge corresponds to the design of the railway bridges constructed locally by the MSLR and why the lock cottage is late 19th century in appearance rather than 18th century.