Sandiacre - Part 04 - Along The Canal
w/e 8 January 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Click here to read David Roberts' "Memories of Sandiacre" - opens in a popup window

This part of our exploration of Sandiacre picks up the walk on the towpath of the Erewash Canal. It will take us along the canal and we will see a few notable buildings before crossing it via a footbridge to reach Town Street.

Peartree House

The swans that we saw when we were last here just over a month ago are certainly not camera shy and graciously swam into shot again as I positioned myself for this picture of Peartree House. The house actually predates the canal and originally had land attached to it that stretched as far as the River Erewash (see Part 3). Another claim to local fame is that it was once the residence of one George Russell, the local veterinary surgeon.
Former Factory

Adjacent to Peartree House stands a two storey building that dates from the early nineteenth century. This is only half the building it used to be as it was built as a four storey cotton doubling factory with a pitched roof but a combination of high winds and fire eventually reduced it to its present height.
Groundwork Offices

Village Trail LeafletFor many of the walks featured on Ilkeston Cam I have sourced much of the information from leaflets produced by the colaberation of a number of organisations. One of those was the Erewash Groundwork Trust, now known as Groundwork Erewash Valley, and their offices* can be seen across the canal between the former factory and the Plough public house. I am again relying on one of their 'Village Walks' leaflets for much of the information contained in these pages on Sandiacre but as it was published in 1984 I am finding, and regret that, changes in the area mean that some of the historical heritage of the village has been lost forever. One such area in particular will become apparent as we cross the canal towards Town Street.

*NB. Groundwork are no longer at this site having moved to premises in Langley Mill.

The Plough

But before we reach that point we must proceed a little further along the canal towpath and first pass the Plough. Little can be seen of the public house from this side of the canal but the inn sign and the adjacent landing stage will surely have tempted a fair number of narrow boat owners over the years. Such visitors may have noticed some hand made bricks in the rear wall of the pub suggesting that part of the building is over 200 years old.
Erewash Canal

From opposite the Plough our objective, the footbridge, is clearly visible but the left hand side of the canal has recently changed from its former appearance due to the construction (still ongoing at the time of writing) of a new housing development.
Mill Lane Bridge

The bridge which leads to Mill Lane has cast iron beams on stone abutments but the original wooden decking has been replaced by concrete. It originally led to the village's water powered corn mill which obviously gave rise to the name of the lane.
Town Street & Mill Lane

The inset in the picture above shows the view from the bridge along Mill Lane towards Town Street and this is one of the areas where some of the history of the village that I mentioned above has been lost. The leaflet declares that this area once contained three storey frame knitters houses, a wheelwright and a maltsters. There was also the old Post Office and the Primitive Methodist Chapel but sadly all vestiges of theses buildings have disappeared to be replaced by the new housing development and a number of light industrial units. The chapel was built in 1833 and at the time of writing of the leaflet was still being used by an engineering business, at one time being used as a brass foundry. The main picture shows Town Street (formerly Church Street) from near the junction with Mill Lane. Opposite the junction the Co-op stood for many years in a purpose built shop having previously been founded in a converted stable on the street in 1872. By 1895 there were 40 shops in Sandiacre serving a population that increased fourfold from 1851 to 4000 by 1901. The population is now about 10000 and quite a few of those will live in the houses and flats on the left that now line Town Street.

 Back to Part 03
 Forward to Part 05

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