title: Worksop Heritage Trail

The Chesterfield Canal

Pickford's Depository in 1970
The Chesterfield Canal Petition of 1770

For further information please go to Worksop Industry, Worksop History

The Chesterfield Canal was built by engineer James Brindley. It opened in 1777 and caused expansion in this area as warehouses, malt kilns and mills were built along its banks.

The old Pickford's Depository or warehouse spans the canal. A hoist was used to unload goods into the building from narrow boats. On the other side of the bridge, behind Worksop Town Lock, were similar warehouses which formed a tunnel over the canal more than 50 yards long.

The Houses of Parliament were badly damaged by a fire in 1834 and the canal was used to transport stone from local quarries to be used in its rebuilding.

Shireoaks Colliery boat about 1910
A Sunday School trip about 1910

When the railways became established the canal was gradually used less for the transportation of goods. When the Norwood Tunnel collapsed in 1907 Chesterfield was cut off from the waterway network although Shireoaks Colliery used the canal for another 40 years to transport coal to the Trent.

Boats on the canal in 2000

The 1968 Transport Act designated the 26 miles from Worksop to West Stockwith as a 'cruiseway'. In 1976 the Chesterfield Canal Society was formed and the canal is now used for leisure activities.