canalside heritage centre


The Beeston Cut is a small but important link between the Nottingham Canal and the River Trent, with a rich history and place in the hearts of the local community, since work began in 1794.

The lock and associated cottages were the first properties built in the Beeston Rylands area. They were prestigious, substantially-built buildings to reflect the importance and status of the canal network. With increased prosperity, the canals became the transport of choice in its day and people soon arrived to capitalise on its obvious benefits. Public houses soon appeared, along with the requisite Mission Hall and morgue. The area became known as Beeston Rylands and commerce began in earnest.

But with the advent of the railway, the canal system went into decline, until the Inland Waterways Association championed the use of canals as leisure facilities in the 1960s. This led to a clean up and canal side improvements that feature today. However, the cottages to the rear of the Lock Keeper’s cottage were not maintained or improved and fell into their present derelict condition.

Notwithstanding the obvious benefits of the Beeston Cut, this part of the waterways is also in the enviable position of being able to illustrate the role and progress of engineering. Adjacent to the cottages on the River Trent, a ten-year old hydro-electric plant provides a respectable form of sustainable energy for the area.