Cromford Canal Railway Aqueduct (OASIS Id: wessexar1-251019)

Wessex Archaeology, 2016

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Wessex Archaeology (2016) Cromford Canal Railway Aqueduct (OASIS Id: wessexar1-251019) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Cromford Canal Railway Aqueduct (OASIS Id: wessexar1-251019)

Derbyshire County Council commissioned Wessex Archaeology to undertake an archaeological watching brief during groundworks associated with repair of the Cromford Railway Canal Aqueduct, Scheduled Monument No. 313920 (County Monument No. 244).

The aqueduct comprises of an iron trough carried on stone abutments, with a cast iron balustrade on the south side. It is situated less than 1km south of Lea Bridge and 2.7km southeast of Cromford where it carries the Cromford Canal over the section of the Matlock railway line to the east of Leawood Tunnel between Cromford and Whatstandwell.

Repair works were necessary due to concern over the observed corrosion of one of the straps of the aqueduct. In addition to the trough repairs, the existing towpath consisting of railway sleepers was replaced with a new one suitable for vehicular access which was independently supported by a steel frame spanning the railway and resting on existing stone abutments.

An intermittent archaeological watching brief was undertaken between the 1st August and 14th October, monitoring the works relating to the removal of the suspended tow path of railway sleepers and four courses of stonework from the top of the abutments.

Monitoring during the excavation of two trenches over the abutments of the aqueduct allowed for the investigation and characterisation of the plan and profile of the wall. Whilst evidence was recorded for previous investigatory cuts down along the footings of the aqueduct’s parapet walls, no dating evidence was recovered. No construction cut was observed for the abutments indicating that all the recorded features likely post-date the construction of the aqueduct in the late-1840s.