The Future of the Missing Link

As at late 2011 the Chesterfield Canal has been restored to full working order from West Stockwith on the Trent all the way to Kiveton Park and the bricked up entrance to the once magnificent 1.5 mile long tunnel - a distance of about 37 miles (walkable as the Cuckoo Way). gap in canal route needing renovationSouth of Killamarsh around Stavely the canal can once more be picked up, and is in a pretty good state by and large; but due to The Gap there's no way a boat from the restored bit to the east can sail onto it.

In 1990 only 26 miles from the Trent were navigable - including an extra 36 locks.

Across Tommy Flocktons at the Hard Lane end of kiveton the tunnel can just about be made out by the series of depressions that denote roof collapses of the brick lined tunnel. Where it crossed Kiveton Pit's old site it has been obliterated, although there was a lagoon called 'Tunnel Top' until the pit shut in 1993 and it was redeveloped as Kiveton Waters. After that the route would go under the M1 motorway probably through an existing wide underpass meant for farm vehicles.

A couple of miles further west in Killamarsh you can barely tell that a canal was ever there, and in some places the route has been built on.

However, as the Chesterfield Canal Trust detail on their website, there are plans afoot to close the gap and restore the canal to it's full pre Victorian 46 mile long glory: QUOTE FROM TRUST WEBSITE:

Since 1989 over 11 miles of the canal have been restored along with 36 locks and 11 bridges. Another 200 metres opened in August [2011] and Staveley Town Basin will be in water by Christmas [2011].

We only have nine miles left to restore [between Kiveton and various places up to Chesterfield]. Detailed plans already exist for every bridge, lock and aqueduct on this stretch. The Chesterfield Canal Trust is currently running a campaign called Closing the Gap in order to achieve this aim.


Seeing narrow boats on the Rother Valley Country Park would be cool! And there are already plans to develop RVCP, including, rather bizzarely, a Chinese themed leisure complex.

I wish them well and it would be great if the Chesterfield Canal could be connected to the wider waterway network, e.g the navigation at Sheffield/Rotherham, so that it's not such a one way trip. I once chartered a widebeam on the Leeds-Liverpool Navigation - a navigation is wide and long canal that can take boats wider than narrowboats (as far as I can tell!). There are some great circular routes that can be done over a couple of weeks over and around the pennines. Either way it would be a boost to the economy along the Worksop-Chesterfield route if the canal were made whole along its full 48 mile length, even better if it could be linked to the wider canal network.