About this image
The River Rother looking south towards Chesterfield at Tapton and showing the concrete bridge serving the premises of timber merchants Arnold Laver. A forklift truck sits on the bridge at the entrance to one of the buildings. This establishment was later closed and demolished with the firm's sawmill, trade centre and distribution yard relocated to Halfway on the eastern fringe of Sheffield.
The river was formerly navigable at this point (hence the towpath with its separate opening under the bridge) as it was incorporated into the Chesterfield Canal and allowed boats to reach the town itself. 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 the Chesterfield Canal Trust has plans to reinstate navigation along the Rother from Tapton Mill Bridge to a new basin on the north side of Chesterfield.