SJ9453 : Hazelhurst Junction in Staffordshire

taken 5 months ago, near to Horse Bridge, Staffordshire, Great Britain

Hazelhurst Junction in Staffordshire
Hazelhurst Junction in Staffordshire
The history of this junction site is interesting.
Ahead on the left, the "new" main line of the Caldon Canal to Froghall descends a flight of three locks. On the right is the original main line, but it is now the "new" Leek" branch which continues about five hundred metres to the original 1797 junction, then turns sharp left across the Hazlehurst Aqueduct, while the original 1779 route to Froghall down a three chamber lock staircase near Denford is derelict. Thus, some maps label the three locks here as "Hazelhurst New Locks". These major alterations to the canal layout were arried out circa 1839-1842.
The Caldon Canal
The Caldon Branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal was created, and opened in 1779, specifically as a transport facility for the limestone quarries at Cauldon, near Froghall. In 1797 a secondary branch was built from the original Hazelhurst Locks to Leek. By 1811 a further extension from Froghall led to Uttoxeter, a further 13 miles, but only lasted until 1845. By 1849 a railway had been built, some of the track using the former canal bed.
A major rebuild at Hazelhurst Junction took place, completed by 1841. This included abandoning a staircase of three locks by Hazelhurst Wood, and creating three single new ones on a separate cut, which then passed under a new aqueduct to accommodate the Leek Branch.

Due mainly to railways taking most of the trade, the canal became little used and almost unnavigable by the early 1960s.

The canal was reopened in 1974 following enormous amounts of work instigated by the Caldon Canal Society, its volunteers, and the British Waterways Board. The current seventeen miles from Etruria to Froghall are a particularly attractive canal for cruising, despite the seventeen locks ... well that isn't too many, is it? ;-)
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SJ9453, 112 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 12 September, 2019   (more nearby)
Friday, 7 February, 2020
Geographical Context
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 9477 5375 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:4.8568N 2:4.7716W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 9473 5377
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Canal Junction  Lock  Towpath 

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