Restoration Section 6: Killamarsh Town

In the 1970's house building took place on part of the original canal line through Killamarsh. In 2004 the Chesterfield Canal Partnership commissioned Jacobs-Babtie to undertake a detailed study of possible routes to replace the built upon section. Routes through and around the village were considered. The community were closely involved in the entire process and following extensive consultation a preferred route has been agreed which both avoids demolishing existing properties and meets the requirements of the community for the canal to pass through the heart of the village.

In outline the agreed route follows the original line of the canal (where it is not built on) from Old Hall Farm to near Killamarsh Leisure Centre. From there it leaves the original line and heads down-hill to pass under Sheffield Road following an existing storm drain route. The canal then passes through a flood control gate and enters Nethermoor Lake. It is proposed to develop Nethermoor Lake as a low-key mooring site.

This will be among the last sections to be reinstated and there are still a number of detailed issues which require resolution. Nevertheless, the preferred route through the village has been protected against development through incorporation into the North East Derbyshire Local Area Plan and the replacement Local Development Framework.

The Killamarsh Town section commences at the winding hole to the east of the LD&ECR (Westthorpe Mineral Railway) Bridge. At this point the canal used to make a shallow loop around a very low hill spur. On the north (downslope) side the towpath bank has been structurally undermined by garden extensions cutting into the toe of the embankment and increasing the slope rest angle. It is proposed to construct a new lock at this location (Old Hall Farm Lock No.6a) to lower the bed level of the canal for two reasons; First, this will allow re-profiling of the hill slope / embankment slope to accommodate these changes. Second, it will drop the level of the canal by c.2m and enable passage under Walford Road.

Between the new lock and Walford Road a new footbridge will be required to maintain existing connectivity. This may take the form of a lock tail bridge or a stand alone structure (New Spooner Bridge, No.26a).

Walford Road post dates the closure of the canal. It is a significant urban road and although the canal adjacent to the crossing point has not been built upon the site is severely constrained by the presence of houses, driveway access and an electricity substation. There are two alternative designs for Walford Road Bridge (No.26b);

The restrictions on raising the road level near the crossing make the lifting bridge the more likely option at this time.

Beyond Walford Road the canal channel is completely infilled and runs through an area of urban parkland. Two new foot and cycle bridges over the canal will be required to maintain continuity of connection and movement between the surrounding housing and the town centre (New Leah's Bridge No.26c and Chandos Bridge No.26d). Sufficient space is available for a shallow cutting to carry the lowered canal channel and this would help to delimit the canal and separate it from the surrounding park.

Shortly before Bridge Street and the site of Mallinders Bridge the canal channel briefly reappears albeit partially infilled. Some retaining and underpinning work will be required to lower the canal level along this section.

Mallinders Bridge (also called Bridge Street Bridge, No.27) was dropped and culverted in the 1970's and only fragments of the wing and abutment walls remain. Reconstruction in the original style is not possible due to Highways Agency requirements to maintain the current long profile of the road. A concrete thin deck structure with cosmetic brick cladding is proposed.

After Mallinders Bridge the canal channel is infilled although it is clearly marked by a surfaced urban footpath. Some revetment work to one upslope structure will be required to lower the bed level. The Canal track reaches the open area adjacent to the Leisure Centre (SK 4587 8105) where the first of the five new Killamarsh Town Locks is planned.

Killamarsh Town Top Locks (Locks No.6b & 6c) are two "staircase" locks and are on an angle to the slope. The canal then passes under a tail bridge while turning to the north until the flight is descending perpendicular to the hill slope. A further pair of staircase locks, Killamarsh Town Middle Locks (Locks No.6d & 6e), lead to a further very short pound and the Killamarsh Town Bottom Lock (Lock No.6f).

The pounds between the locks are very short and are only intended to permit two full-sized boats to pass each other. Even with larger than average by-washes these very short pounds will tend to drain rapidly. Given that there is insufficient space on adjacent land to construct side ponds of suitable dimensions a permanent back-pumping system is envisaged.

Continuity of access from the housing around Nethermoor Lane and the village church to the leisure centre is afforded by a new foot and cycle bridge over the tail of the first lock-pair – Killamarsh Town Locks Bridge (No.27a).

Killamarsh Town Bottom Lock takes the canal down into a concrete box culvert which runs under the end of Nethermoor Road and then under Sheffield Road to emerge on the north side of the road in a narrow space occupied by a public footpath and a drainage ditch occupied by an unnamed stream (probably the Dale Brook which runs under the housing estate from the Dale Valley to the south east) . The culvert roof will extend for c. 50 m along this space allowing the footpath to be carried above the canal until the available site opens out and there is sufficient space to permit the footpath to resume its position beside the canal.

A further very short length of new canal will bring the channel to the Flood Defence bank which lies between Killamarsh and Nethermoor Lake and which is part of Rother Valley County Park. To cross the flood defence bank and descend to the level of Nethermoor lake a flood control lock has been designed (Nethermoor Lock, No.6f). This lock incorporates a guillotine gate at the downstream end which can be remotely controlled in conjunction with the flood defence system in this reach of the Rother Valley. The flood defence barrier can only raised when conditions are suitable.

Nethermoor lake is the southernmost of the lakes which were created following open cast-coal mining in the Rother Valley during the 1980's. It is proposed that part of the lake will be utilised as quiet moorings. Subject to agreement with the Environment Agency a short floating (rise and fall) pontoon will be constructed running northwards from the southern shore of the lake. This will initially accommodate 10 boats and be designed to cope with the maximum possible rise and fall of the lake during flood conditions (Upton-on-Seven Marina on the River Severn has pontoons with a rise and fall distances of 5 metres – here the maximum is 3 metres). There is scope to extend the length or number of pontoons depending upon demand. A bonded gravel path will link the pontoons with the towpath and the path along the top of the flood bank which provides alternative access routes to the village. Each of these existing routes will be upgraded and require additional signposting.

No facilities are planned within the moorings - the intention is that services and supplies can be obtained from Killamarsh. Facilities for work on boats will not be available on this site as there are opportunities at Kiveton Park to the east.

Restoration Sections

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