Canalside Heritage Centre

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A step back in time

We have an insightful exhibition that lets you discover the heritage of the water ways, here are some of the highlights.


The Nottingham Canal Company

The Nottingham Canal Company is founded after a public meeting on 26th October. 

This is in direct response to concerns that Nottinghamshire’s collieries were at a commercial disadvantage to those being served by the Erewash and Cromford Canals. 

The Beeston Cut

8th July. William Jessop and Robert Whitworth submit a report to the Trent Navigation Company on the question of a cut at Beeston Meadows.

Derby Canal Act is passed on 7th May. 


The Beeston Cut opens in February

By early 1796 the entire length of Nottingham Canal is open to traffic, connecting collieries at Wollaton and Bilborough amongst others to Langley Mill, and from there to the Cromford Canal.

The first detailed census return at Beeston Lock

The first detailed census shows a lock house and three cottages are occupied, with a total of 21 people living on the site.


Revenues generated by the Nottingham Canal first begin to decline.


Canal Boat Act

Passing of the Canal Boat Act designed to improve the living and working conditions of boatmen and their families. 

No profit for the Trent Navigation Company

The first year that no profit is realised for the Trent Navigation Company. 23rd July. An extraordinary meeting of the Trent Navigation Company proprietors is held to discuss the way forward.

 Of the premises owned at Beeston Meadows: 5 cottages and a house ‘in Trent land’ are listed.


Bradshaw’s Canals and Navigable Rivers of England and Wales is published

Written by Henry Rodolph de Salis. This is the first book of reference to bring together detailed information on the navigable waterways.


The Inland Waterways Association Formed

The Inland Waterways Association is formed by Tom Rolt and Robert Aikman. The Association leads a growing conservation movement concerned with the restoration and preservation of our waterways. 


Nationalisation of the Canals

The canals are nationalised along with the railways, becoming part of the British Transportation Commission. 


18th century side-bridge at Beeston Lock is removed

The UK’s last regular long distance canal boat carrying contract ends. The original 18th century side-bridge at Beeston Lock is removed. 


Residents start to leave the weir cottages

By 1980 the last resident of the north cottage nearest the lock has moved out. It would never be occupied again.


Canalside Heritage Centre Trust is established

The Canalside Heritage Centre Trust is established by local people with the aim of creating a new community facility in the workers cottages


The Canalside Heritage Centre opens to the public

Several years later thanks to a team of passionate local people and successful funding, the historic cottages have become the beautiful Canalside Heritage Centre.