The Cranfleet Trail - Part 02
w/e 14 February 2010
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

On The Towpath

After passing under the two railway bridges and the eighteenth century stone bridge we found many more narrow boats moored alongside the Cranfleet Cut as we continued along the towpath towards Cranfleet Lock.
For Sale

Several of the boats were inhabited, more appeared in mothballs for the winter and at least one was on sale. Even if in need of some restoration this one at only £20,000 seemed a bargain for anyone prepared to give up their land based lives for a life on the inland waterways.
Cranfleet Lock

 The eastern end of the Cranfleet Cut is at Cranfleet Lock where the large white cottage was once split into two with the right hand side being the Lock Keeper's cottage and the left hand side being stables for the horses that worked along the towpath hauling vessels carrying loads of up to one hundred times their body weight. An information board at the lock tells of how there were openings in the upper floor where hay for bedding could be thrown down to the stables below. The stored hay above also acted as insulation to keep the horses warm.
Passing Through

Cranfleet Lock is better known to boatmen as Old Sal's Lock and at one time the bottom sill of the lock was the shallowest point between Nottingham and the Trent's junction with the Erewash Canal. This is known as the "tying point" which means that any vessel that could float over the sill would be able to find enough water everywhere else between the city and the Erewash Canal. The British Waterways vessel that we had passed as we approached Cranfleet Lock was still some way behind but two more vessels from the same team were already passing through the lock and heading for the River Trent beyond and on towards Nottingham.
Gates & Barriers

Our route too was to leave the Cranfleet Cut and follow a path by the river after passing through the car park at the lock and navigating our way around these barriers and gates.
Permissive Path

This path is a permissive route designated by the Thrumpton Estate and although a little way from the riverbank, still provides views of the river in both directions.
Turn Left Here

The path soon leads to this squeeze stile and carries on by the river towards Attenborough, Beeston and Nottingham but it is here that we turn left to reach Pasture Lane to begin our return journey to Trent Lock. The route of The Cranfleet Trail was designed to allow disabled people, the elderly and parents with pushchairs easy access to the countryside but it should be noted that some of the stiles and gates could be a little difficult (but by no means impossible) for wheelchairs and pushchairs to negotiate.
Gravel Works

Having turned left at the stile and leaving the river behind, a glance over to the right reveals sand and gravel workings. The Attenborough Nature Reserve a little further on was also the site of former gravel workings and all the deposits in this area were laid down many many years ago when the River Trent was much wider and shallower than it is now.
Back to Part 01
Forward to Part 03

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