River trent and the trent and mersey canal

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The River Trent rises near Biddulph Moor in Staffordshire and flows through that county and the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and finally, after 168 miles, Humberside. It ends at Trent Falls and its confluence with the Rivers Ouse and Humber.
The Trent is our third longest river. Its principal tributaries being; the rivers Sow, Tame, Dove, Derwent, Erewash, Soar and Idle, all of which are canoeable.

The River Trent is known to be practicable from Trentham Park, except in dry spells, but the usual starting place for "the 100 mile" is either from Stone on the Trent or Penkridge on the River Penk, then into the River Sow joining the Trent at Haywood. The Trent and Mersey Canal runs parallel for much of its length, and provides an alternative route.

River Grading: 1 - 2
Water Authorities: River Trent - Severn-Trent Canal - B.W.B. A B.W.B. licence (free to BCU members) is needed for both river and canal
Ordnance Survey Sheet No. 127, Landranger Series.
River - Miles from Trentham Park

Canal - Miles to Derwent Mouth

0 Trentham Park

50 Meaford Lock Flight

1.5 Strongford Bridge A34

2.75 Road Bridge

48 Stone Lock Flight

5.75 Meaford Bridge A34

7 Stone Bypass Bridge A34, followed by railway bridge

7.75 Walton Bridge Stafford/Stone Canoe Club, PH & Shops

9.5 Aston Bridge

46.5 Aston Lock

44.5 Sandon Lock

13.25 Sandon Bridge

13.75 Concrete Cill on left channel, use right

14.5 Casey Bridge, salt

16 Weston Road Bridge, shallows

42.5 Weston Lock

17.25 Road Bridge

18.5 Road Bridge with Weir under, inspect

19.25 Hoomill Bridge

20 Staffs & Worcs. Canal aquaduct over, little headroom

39 Hoomill Lock & Junction of Staffs & Worcs Canal

20.5 Confluence of River Sow

21 Great Haywood Bridge. P.H. and Shops

Cannock to Alrewas

Much the prettiest part of both the River and Canal. At both the start and end of this map the Canal and River are only separated by a few yards, but after three miles the Canal swings wide to the South and back again. At Alrewas the Canal and River become one for a few hundred yards.

The Canal drops some 68 feet on this section, 45 feet of this in one mile around Fradley Junction where the Coventry Canal joins.

The River falls over many small weirs and itself drops some 55 feet until Alrewas where both are linked.
Ordnance Survey Sheet No. 128, Landranger Series.
River - Miles from Trentham Park

Canal - Miles to Derwent Mouth

21 Great Haywood Bridge

40.5 Colwich Lock

23 Colwich

25.5 Canal aquaduct, little headroom

26.25 Colton Weir, easy portage

26.5 Rugeley Bridge

34 Lea Hall left

31.75 Brereton Road Bridge

28.5 Mavesyn Ridware Railway Bridge. Broken weir above bridge. Islands below

29.75 High Bridge, Island and small rapids below

30.5 Pipe Ridware

31.5 Nethertown, river divides, take left branch over broken weir.

Confluence River Blythe left. The right branch leads to King's

Bromley, difficult portage

27.25 Wood End Lock

33 Yoxhall Bridge

26.5 Fradley Junction, Coventry Canal joins

36.25 Wychnor Park, river divides

25.25 Common Lock

37 24 Alrewas Mill

Trent and Mersey Canal enters right and leaves left after a few hundred

yards. River right over Alrewas weir. Easy portage left. Campsite at

farm R.H. bank

38 23 Wychnor Bridges A38. Campsite at farm R.H. bank

Alrewas to Willington

Both the River and Canal are very pretty, although the Canal is very much straighter now. The River still bends and twists all the way to the confluence of the River Dove.

The right of navigation through Burton is still very much disputed, and advice may be sought from the Regional Access Officer, however it is now known that an Act of Parliament passed in 1794 was granted to improve the River Trent from Burton to the Humber. 17 years after the canal was opened. At this time the river was only navigable to Wilden Ferry, 16 miles below Burton. This now gave Burton two navigations.

Ordnance Survey Sheet No. 128, Landranger Series.
River - Miles from Trentham Park

Canal - Miles to Derwent Mouth

38 23 Wychnor Bridge A38

38.5 River divides

39 Two Railway bridges, followed by confluence of the River Tame right,

then the River Mease right. The River now becomes much wider.

23.25 Wychnor Lock

40 Catton Hall right, Island, pass either side

43 Walton-on-Trent Bridge. Access RH, d/stream of bridge. P.H. & Shops

21 Tatenhill Lock

20 Branston Bridge

46.75 Drakelow Power Station, right

47 Railway Bridge. Beware water skiers

47.5 "Ferry Bridge" footbridge P.H. & Shops Road Bridge (St. Peter's


17 Dallow Lock

48 River Divides: Left, Burton weir, shoot centre or portage left, proceed

under Burton Bridge Right, past Rowing Clubs, under Burton Bridge,

Burton Canoe Club, R.H. side. Camp site. (Return to Burton weir to

continue journey)

49.5 Channels rejoin

14.5 Aquaduct over River Dove

50.5 Confluence of River Dove Access agreement in force, consult B.C.U.

52.5 12.5 Willington Bridges

Willington to Trent Lock

This section of the River and Canal has seen a great number of Acts of Parliament and Royal Charters granted confirming and establishing rights of navigation. In 1204 King John confirmed the Derwent as an ancient navigation (and therefore the River Trent as well) and Charles I granted letters of patent in 1634 to make the River Soar navigable. The Industrial Revolution saw numerous Acts of Parliament passed to establishing the building of the Derby, Erewash & Loughborough Canals as well as the Trent and Mersey (formerly called the Grand Trunk Canal) Arguments continued for years over where the Trent and Mersey should link the River Trent, but must have been settled by 1766 when the first sod was cut. The Canal opened 11 years later in 1777. In 1794 an Act was passed to improve the navigation on the River Trent from Burton, which re-established the River as a navigation and created two navigations into Burton running side by side often only 100 yards apart for some 20 miles.
Water Authorities: Severn-Trent for the River Derwent and River Trent above Derwent Mouth B.W.B., for the River Soar and River Trent below Derwent Mouth, a B.W.B. Waterways Licence is required B.W.B., for the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Erewash Canal. B.W.B. Canals Licence is required
Ordnance Survey Sheet Nos. 128, 129 Landranger Series
River - Miles from Trentham Park

Canal - Miles to Derwent Mouth

52.5 12.5 Willington Bridges

10 Stenson Lock

55 Site of Twyford Ferry

60 Swarkestone Road Bridge, A514. Rapid below pass through extreme

right arch and proceed down rapid. Grade 2

7 Swarkestone Lock, then Derby Canal, closed and filled in

61.5 5.5 Railway Bridge

3.25 Weston-on-Trent

63.5 King's Mill, P.H. right. Rapid, pillar in centre of river which is slowly

being washed away. Grade 3 rapid in high water

1 Shardlow Lock

67.25 0.75 Road Bridge A6

68.5 0 Derwent Mouth, junction of Trent & Mersey Canal and River Trent,

confluence of River Derwent

69 M1 Road Bridge

69.25 Sawley Lock Cut and Weir Left. Dangerous boil and undertow

71 Trent Lock Junction of Erewash Canal Left and Cranfleet Cut (left

fork) confluence of River Soar Navigation Right and Thrumpton Weir

(River Trent) Right fork. Portage Weir on Right.

Trent Lock to Gunthorpe

Below Trent Lock the river becomes much wider, and the weirs are much bigger. All weirs require careful inspection.

The portages at locks are long and difficult but are often easier at the weirs. Some of the weirs have rollers, most of which don't work but still provide a good portage point, except when the river is very high when they become swamped.

The Beeston Canal was built to avoid the then dangerous river section under Trent Bridge. The river provides a much more pleasant route through Nottingham, although the canal passes very close to the railway station and town centre shops. The building of Colwick sluice has removed the problems of navigating near Trent Bridge, and this section is now deep and calm.

There is a local agreement between canoeists and rowers on the river section from Beeston Weir to Trent Bridge to pass on the left.

The little Fairham Brook is often canoed when in spate from Ruddington Bridge.

Water Authorities: B.W.B., a Waterways Licence is required for the River Trent and the Beeston Canal. Severn-Trent - Fairham Brook.
Ordnance Survey Sheet No. 129, Landranger Series.
Miles from Trentham Park
71 Trent Lock. Junction of River Soar Navigation, right, Erewash Canal, left.

Cranfleet Cut, left fork. River Trent and Thrumpton Weir, right fork under

railway bridge. Portage weir right.

76.25 Beeston Lock left, Beeston Weir right. Portage lock left for Beeston Canal or

weir right for River Trent.
River Canal

77.75 Clifton Bridge A52 2.25 A52 Road Bridge

79.25 Foot bridge 3 Castle Lock

81 Trent Bridge 4.5 Meadow Lane Lock, rejoins river.

81.25 Canal rejoins river left. Nottingham Kayak Club right.

81.5 Grantham Canal right (disused and dry in parts)

83.25 Colwick Race Course left.

83.75 Holme Lock and Sluice. Portage right of lock along tow path. Holme

Pierrepont, National Watersports Centre and Artificial Slalom Course,

Camp site, right. Colwick Brook enters left below sluice.

87.25 Railway Bridge.

87.75 Stoke Bardolph Lock and Weir, portage weir left, rollers.

88.5 P.H. left

91.75 Gunthorpe Bridge & Lock, rollers right of weir. A6097 Road Bridge above

lock. Camp site in village left.

Gunthorpe to Littleborough

The Cut through Newark was not the original navigation. The inhabitants of Newark wanted to bring their trade closer to the town without obstructing the other line. In December 1772 an Act was passed to approve just this. The cut was opened on Friday 22nd October 1773 "on which account great rejoicings were made, such as firing Cannon upon the River, Ringing of Bells, and Bonfires".

The traditional 100 mile trail ends on this cut below Newark Castle.
Three miles below Newark we come to Cromwell Lock and Weir. This weir is not shootable, several lives have been lost here in recent years.
Below Cromwell the River is Tidal.
Water Authority: B.W.B. - a Waterways Licence is required.
Ordnance Survey Sheet Nos. 129, 120, 121. Landranger Series.
Miles from Trentham Park

91.75 Gunthorpe Lock and Weir

94.5 Hoveringham Left & P.H.

96.5 Hazelford Ferry Left

97 Hazelford Lock and Weir. Rollers removed but portage at site of rollers, Right

of Weir.

98.5 Fiskerton Left, P.H.

102.5 Farndon, P.H. Right and Parking.

103.5 Averham Weir. Over Weir to follow River or keep Right to and through


104.75 A167 Road Bridge 1.5 River Devon enters Right

2 Newark Town Lock & Weir

106 A6065 Road Bridge 3 Newark Neither Lock & Weir

108 Crankley Point, cut 3.25 Crankley Point rejoins River

109.5 Muskham Ferry

111 Cromwell Lock & Weir. DANGER. Portage Left of Lock.

No Locks from here, the river is now tidal.

114 Carlton-on-Trent, left.

120.25 Marnham Left, South Clifton Right.

123 A57 Road Bridge.

127 Torksey-on-Trent Right. Fossdyke enters Right, Camping and P.H. The

Fossdyke is a Roman Canal, which is navigable to Lincoln and the River


130 Marton Right, Camping.

132 Littleborough.

Littleborough to Trent Falls

The whole of this section is tidal.

From Littleborough downstream the flow of the tide can be as much as Eight to Ten miles per hour against the flow of the River.

It is difficult to leave the River in an emergency as the banks are steep with boulders and mud.

Beware of Coastal Shipping from Gainsborough downstream.

At Trent Falls a barrier crosses most of the River, move to the Right to enter the River Humber, the Yorkshire Ouse is on the left.
Ordnance Survey Sheet Nos. 121, 112. Landranger Series.
Miles from Trentham Park.

132 Littleborough Left

137.5 A631 Road Bridge. Gainsborough, beware of Coastal Shipping from this


142.5 Chesterfield Canal enters Left. River Idle enters Left.

144.5 Warping Drain enters Left.

145.5 East Ferry Right, Owston Ferry Left.

148.5 Susworth Right.

149.5 River Eau enters Right.

150.5 East and West Butterwick. Bottesford Beck enters Right.

152 M180 Road Bridge.

153 River Torne enters Left.

154 Railway Bridge.

154.5 Stainforth & Kedby Canal Enters Right.

156.75 Amcotts Left.

157.5 Pauper's Drain enters Left.

160 Garthorpe Ferry.

164.5 Trent Falls, move to the Right to avoid barrier.

River Humber Right.

Yorkshire Ouse Left.

Water Authorities: Above Gainsborough Bridge B.W.B. Below Gainsborough Bridge, Humber Conservancy Board.

Licence required: B.W.B. Waterways Licence.


During spring tides the AEGRE forms on the first of flood, reaching various heights. May exceed 1.5 metres between Keadby and Gainsborough. Dangerous to small craft.

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