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Shardlow, situated 8 miles south east of Derby, just off the A6, was once a considerable inland port on the river Trent. There was a settlement here at the time of Domesday, when the area belonged to the Abbey of Chester and the village was known as Serdelov. It was clustered around the crossroads where the track from Aston to Wilne crossed the route from Derby to the Trent. A horse drawn ferry was used to cross the river but this was replaced in 1760 by Cavendish Bridge and tolls had to be paid to cross it. The stone giving the toll charges is still displayed on the roadside approaching the modern Cavendish Bridge, a replacement for the old one that collapsed in 1947 (See DCHQ000167). Then came the Trent and Mersey Canal to Shardlow, which became known as the Grand Trunk and was akin to the modern motorway system, for it connected canal systems throughout the Midlands. Warehouses were built to store goods, and wharves to moor the boats. Between 1788 to 1841, the village population of Shardlow quadrupled with all sorts of small industries developing to serve the needs of the horse drawn boats and the wants of the boat people. The coming of railway caused changes in Shardlow again. The canal was too slow for all but the most bulky cargoes. The Shardlow section of the Trent and Mersey Canal was bought by the North Staffordshire Railway and the canal warehouses became grainstores and other industries developed. Many of the old cottages in Shardlow were replaced by modern developments in the 1960`s but some were saved when much of the canalside was designated a conservation area in 1978 . There are still some large and fine houses remaining that were built by the wealthy canal merchants.