Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Pinxton Wharf - Cromford Canal

Pinxton Wharf
Cromford Canal
December 2009

Pinxton is an interesting little place in Derbyshire, located at the far end of the Pinxton Arm of the Cromford Canal, which is itself an abandoned extension of the little used Erewash Canal. That is a long winded way of saying that the place has a canal heritage, but it is currently well off the beaten boating track.

Regular readers will know that I have a longstanding interest in the lost canals of Nottinghanshire and Derbyshire, and the proximity of Tilly's boarding school makes on the ground exploration both possible and the basis of a good day out in the fresh air.

I last visited the start of the Pinxton Arm in the autumn, but managed to lose the line of the canal as it entered the Smotherfly opencast mine. This called for a return visit but expediency demanded that the exploration of the northern mile and a half be started at Pinxton Wharf end.

PInxton, it seems, was little more than a hamlet which scratched away a bit of surface drift mining before the canal arrived. The construction of the waterway transformed the place, which exploded in size, fuelled by extensive coal deposits and spawning a substantial pottery industry. Even today the southern half of the village is given over to large industrial sites, which dwarf the place.

The impact of the canal cannot be overstated, as evidenced by the residual road system. Instead of a high street Pinxton has Wharf Road and its centre which leads, unsurprisingly, to Pinxton Wharf.

I had fully expected a weeded up but of boggy bit of ground, surrounded by a stand of trees. The reality was quite different. Pinxton has taken the Wharf to its heart, with a well dredged pool complete with a path round its perimiter and an ample supply of fish to attact fishermen to its numerous jetties.

We found the place to be very pretty, on a clear winters day with blue skies overhead. The scene was enhanced by a pure white swan gliding over its oily smooth surface, and half a dozen fishermen attempting to catch the substantial pike which inhabit its murky depths.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Not Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire despite the postcode.