The Chesterfield Canal’s bridge to the past

The Chesterfield Canal’s bridge to the past

The Chesterfield Canal’s bridge to the past - Credit: Archant

Volunteers working to restore the Chesterfield Canal at Staveley unexpectedly uncovered the remains of a 240-year-old canal bridge – and now they’re planning an archaeological dig, with members of the public able to visit the site by trip-boat.

Chesterfield Canal Trust has spent several years reinstating the canal at Staveley (which had largely disappeared under the area’s industries) as a concrete-lined channel including creating a new Staveley Town Basin and the first of two extra locks to provide enough headroom for it to pass under a railway track. During a Waterway Recovery Group canal camp in early August working to recreate the channel below the lock, the volunteers came across the remains of old walls in the canal bed.

Realising that these are the last remnants of the original 1770s Eckington Road Bridge, the Trust has scheduled an archaeological excavation on 15-16 August led by canal supporter and qualified archaeologist Dr Geraint Coles, to examine and measure the remains and hopefully discover a little more about the canal’s early history. They are appealing for volunteers – and you don’t need to have ever done any archaeological work before. Alternatively, you can visit the excavations by taking a ride on the Trust’s trip-boats which are operating special trips.