Restoration Section 5: Killamarsh West

Beyond the site of Boiley Bridge the canal track resumes a gently curving course following the contours of the valley side. A short distance north from the site of the bridge the channel becomes fully open and two short lengths are in water. These sections were excavated by the landowner to a navigable profile to create fishing ponds in the 1990's. The water supply for these ponds comes from a small unnamed brook which enters the ponds at the southern end of the reinstated length.

The length of water is divided by an earth bund which carries the Public Right of Way from Killamarsh to the TPT. This is the site of Gallas Footbridge (Bridge No.24) which will be reinstated again using the standard design.

At the north end the canal is infilled and the canal track is gravelled and used as a car park. Sufficient width exists at this point to relocate the car park along the bank.

North of the current car park area the canal channel is infilled for c. 300 m until the site of Forge Bridge is reached (Bridge No.25, SK 4480 8085). Parts of the original course have been built over by the main access to, and further car parking for, the commercial fishing ponds.

The platform of raised made ground occupied by these features overlies the edge of the former canal channel and in many places completely obscures it. The Cuckoo Way here largely following the foot of what was the outer bank of the canal rather than the actual line of the towpath.

At present the Cuckoo Way (the canal towpath) enters an area of woodland and follows the toe of a steep slope in made ground. This slope is recent and forms the edge of a platform of made ground on which the main car park of the fishing ponds is situated. The slope of the made ground lies over the original canal track.

To secure a viable canal route without undue encroachment upon the adjacent woodland it is proposed to steel pile along the approximate line of the off bank, excavate and remove the made ground from the slope and create a retaining wall on the off bank side. This will permit the corner at Forge Lane to be eased, damage to the woodland to be minimised and the majority of the current parking area to be retained. It is proposed that the retaining wall be cosmetically faced with stone and incorporate features such as bat niches.

The canal will then turn east and pass through a short concrete box culvert – required to maintain the access road to the fishing ponds – and then under Forge Bridge (No.25) This bridge is infilled but the arch and parapets are intact and it proposed to re-use the structure after excavation, recording and refurbishment.

From Forge Bridge the canal channel is completely infilled for 100 metres until the site of the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway Bridge (Bridge No.25a, also known as Westthorpe Mineral Railway Bridge) is reached when the channel becomes open with some seasonal shallow pools and longer dry lengths.

Around 100m to the east of the LD&ECR Bridge the canal track becomes more open as it forms a minor loop along the hill flank. There is scope for widening the channel, creating a winding hole and proving a short length of wash wall to provide short term moorings on the edge of the village.

Walford road marks the end of the Western Division.

Restoration Sections

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