Part of the Ilkeston Cam "Days Out" Series

Chesterfield - Tapton Lock
w/e 02 August 2015
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Tapton Lock, Chesterfield

Industrial EstateNotices at entrance to Tapton LockAccessed from an industrial estate (left) Tapton Lock is situated between two roads and surrounded by a modern landscape. Its location in this spot though should not come as a surprise as it was industry that was instrumental in the development of the canal network across the country. The Chesterfield Canal facilitated transport across three counties, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

Trans Pennine Trail

In the working week, parking is at a premium but we managed to find a spot on Lockoford Lane among the industrial units and walked down the path to the canal towpath and the Trans Pennine Trail.
Boat Trip

During the summer the Visitor Centre is open seven days a week and is advertised as being "a brilliant place to visit and a great place to start exploring the Chesterfield Canal". On certain days, like the one we visited, it is also possible to spend a couple of hours taking a boat trip along the canal.
Istanbul 2500 Miles

On the towpath opposite the Visitor Centre there is an amusing sign pointing the way to Istanbul and at the side of it is an Audio Post which can be used to hear the story of the canal and tales from a boatman and lock keeper. Alternatively you could just take advantage of the seat to enjoy the view.

Our own exploration of the area was to walk about half a mile in both directions from the lock and we started in the direction of Istanbul by dropping down to pass under Lockoford Lane pausing to read the commemorative plaques on the lock wall and then continuing along the towpath past several picnic tables.

Two Bridges

We walked as far as the two railway bridges that cross the canal and found that the towpath is popular with cyclists as it is part of the National Cycle Network no 67.

Turning at the railway bridges we returned to Tapton Lock pausing this time at the slipway where a number of ducks had gathered since we had first passed in the opposite direction.
Tapton Tunnel

We continued past the lock (now with our backs to Istanbul) under the road bridge that carries traffic towards Worksop in Nottinghamshire. This is called Bridge 1A or the Tapton Tunnel and art work plaques decorate one wall of the bridge.
Chesterfield Canal

Model Boat PlatformSign on FenceThe canal side now is dotted with fishing platforms and licences for anglers can be obtained from the Visitor Centre. Boat moorings for visitors are available on the opposite side of the canal just beyond the bridge. A double platform (left) near the bridge is however not a fishing platform as a sign on the adjacent fence (right) indicates it is for the use of model boat owners only.
Tapton Mill Bridge

In about half a mile we reached Tapton Mill Bridge. After crossing the bridge the towpath continues along the other side of the canal but the cycle route leaves the canal to continue to Chesterfield and Tapton.
At Tapton mill Bridge

At the side of the canal here is an interpretation board and one of the ornate National Cycle Network signposts. The Chesterfield Canal, one of the first to be built at the start of the Industrial Revolution, was completed in 1777 and it is said to be the M1 of its day. Tapton Mill Bridge, the first along the canal's route, was here in 1777, much of the stonework at the side of the canal also being from that date. The bridges are numbered up to 85 but as we have already seen that the Tapton Tunnel is 1A so there are in excess of 85 bridges along the entire route. A flood gate was constructed in front of this first bridge to protect the canal from excess water from the River Rother further to the south.

Visitor Centre

On reaching Tapton Mill Bridge we turned again and retraced our steps back to the Visitor Centre. Like most other Visitor Centres this one offers information, leaflets, drinks, ice cream, confectionery plus the usual array of books, gifts and souvenirs but also available at Tapton Lock for the less able bodied is a mobility scooter that allows everyone to explore the canal towpath. It can be seen here parked at the side of the canal.

There is also a small but pleasant courtyard where you can sit in the arbour or at one of the tables to enjoy the sensory garden and admire the mosaics on the ground and also attached to the wall of the building. Our "day" trip didn't last all that long and it could easily have been fitted into a morning or an afternoon but a boat trip and longer walks further along the towpath perhaps even into the town to see the famous crooked spire up close could easily have extended our stay. Maybe next time ....

Back to Days Out Index
Special Features Index
Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.