The Cromford canal takes a course of fourteen miles and three quarters in the counties of Derby and Nottingham. Its northern parts are considerably elevated, and it penetrates the east Derwent ridge by a tunnel. Its object of transit downwards are coals, limestone, mill-stone and grindstones, freestone, marble, chert, lead, iron, &c. while in its upward transit, it carries malt, timber as well as coals from the lower pits. It commences in the Erewash canal at Langley bridge and terminates at the town of Cromford. From Codnor lower park and other places, there are cuts from three furlongs to twenty furlongs in length; and the connecting rail-ways ire numerous. In the village of Fritchley, the Crich rail-way passes over a stone bridge and again over a private road on a wooden bridge, and enters the limestone quarry by a tunnel, one hundred yards in length. At Bullbridge this rail-way is continued to machines on a high bank, where the contents of the trams are shot down an inclined plane into iron boats.— The width of this canal is twenty-six feet at top, and the regular canal boats are eighty feet long, seven feet and a quarter wide, and three feet and a half deep. From the Erewash canal to the Pinxton branch, the extent is three miles and a half, with a rise of eighty feet; thence to Pentrich-lane, four miles level; thence to the south end of Bull-bridge aqueduct, one mile level; thence to Lea-wood cut, at the east end of the Derwent aqueduct, four miles and a half level, and thence to Cromford wharf, one mile and three quarters, also level.—The tunnel at Butterley is driven through coal-measures, two thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight yards in length and about fifty-seven yards below the ridge: it is lined with brick, except where the perforated rock appeared capable of its own support. The crown of the arch is eight feet above the water's edge, the water being at its surface nine feet wide. The expense of the tunnel was £7. per yard.
Near Bull-bridge, there is a short tunnel through the limestone. At Wigwell, this canal is carried over the Derwent in a large aqueduct bridge, two hundred yards long and thirty feet high: the river-arch is eighty feet span, and there is a smaller arch on each side for private roads. This aqueduct was built in 1792.—Over the Amber river at Bull-bridge there is an aqueduct of equal length, and fifty feet in height. These two aqueducts cost upwards of £6,000.—This canal is supplied with a very considerable stream of warm water from Cromford sough, and it is probably in consequence of such supply that this canal, west of Butterley tunnel, very rarely, if ever freezes. The Company is authorised to require mine-owners, within a thousand yards of their line and branches, to lift their water high enough to run by proper feeders into this canal; the Company paying any extra expense. Coal-masters are restrained, by the Act, from working under the canal, until they shall have given notice to the Company, to purchase the coals under the same at a valuation: but it being found that little damage is done to the canal-works by such working of the coal-seams, the Company has for several years past, left the coal-owners to their own determination.—The Act for this canal was obtained in the 29th year of George III. The engineers employed were Mr. William Jessop and Mr. Benjamin Outram, besides Mr. Dadford, Mr. Sheasby and Mr. E. Fletcher. The canal was opened in 1793. The tonnage allowed to be taken in this canal, is not to exceed 1d. per ton per mile, for coals, coke and limestone, and 1½ d per ton per mile for all other goods that have not passed from the Erewash canal; 2d per ton per mile for all goods that have so passed; 3d per ton extra on all goods (except coals, coke and limestone) passing from or to this canal and the Erewash canal; 1s. per ton extra, on coals navigated between the Amber aqueduct and Cromford, or within two miles east of that aqueduct, and passing towards it. The tonnage upon this canal was in the year 1828, as follows, viz.: 230,000 tons of coal or coke; 24,000 tons of lime and limestone; 12,000 tons of gritstone; 24,000 tons of timber, slate, &c.; 17,000 tons of iron, ironstone and lead; 18,000 tons of corn, groceries, &c. making in the whole 325,000 tons; and the dividend to the share-owners was .£19. upon the original £100. shares. These shares are now worth about .£400. each.—In 1810 the dividend per share was £10.—The canal has been completed about thirty-four years. By Act of Parliament, the Company was authorised to raise £46,000. in £100. shares; and to borrow £20,000. on interest or mortgage of their tolls. The total cost of making the canal was little less than £80,000. which obliged the Company to call upon the original share-owners for a surplus of £20.
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