About this image
Looking north, showing the lock keeper's cottage and bridge at the point where Derby Road crosses the Nutbrook Canal. (The bridge here is named after an early-mid 1800's lock-keeper called Straw.) The Nutbrook Canal was constructed for a consortium of private colliery owners under the guidance of Benjamin Outram in 1795-6. It was a short canal which did not provide a through-route to anywhere in particular, but brought coal to the Erewash Canal from the Miller-Mundy colliery's at Shipley, and Manner's Colliery, closer to Ilkeston. Water levels were maintained by water held in the large man-made reservoirs of Mapperley, Shipley, Coppice and Osbourne's Ponds. Coal was also brought to the canal by horse drawn wagonways from Mapperley and West Hallam. It also carried iron from the Stanton Ironworks. It declined, as did all canals, after the coming of the railways. Most of the Nutbrook Canal was closed in 1895, but the Stanton Ironworks Company continued to use the first 1.25 miles from the Erewash Canal after that. Traffic on this remaining stub of the Nutbrook Canal ceased in 1949. The rest of the canal between Shipley and Stanton gradually decayed with disuse; by the 1970's lock gates had rotted away, and water levels fallen and the canal partially silted up. Only the natural flow of Nut Brook, and other streams such as Mapperley Brook, helped to keep a vestigial flow of water through its remains. Large scale open cast mining in subsequent years also affected the canal's remains. Today, the canal has seen something of a rebirth, as its former towpath and surrounding areas such as Pewit floods have since been incorporated into the leisure walks and cycle routes of Shipley Country Park. Further south, the Stanton section of the canal is popular with anglers.