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Tapton Lock, Chesterfield Canal

Accessible for portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit the town of Chesterfield, on the westernmost isolated section of the Chesterfield Canal, by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to promote the restoration of this canal. A photo of your boat or canoe in the vicinity of Tapton Lock, the westernmost lock on the isolated section of the canal in Derbyshire, will be a good proof of your visit.  Visiting portable or trailable boats need to obtain a licence from Derbyshire County Council which can be bought from from Tapton Lock Visitor Centre.   You will need to show that you have third party public liability insurance for your boat. There are slipways below Tapton Lock in Chesterfield and at Staveley Town Basin.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.


About the Chesterfield Canal in Derbyshire

The western end of the Chesterfield Canal is currently isolated from the main part of the canal which connects onto the River Trent at West Stockwith. The Chesterfield Canal opened in 1777 and is a typical Brindley contour canal.  Towards the end of the nineteenth century, parts of the canal were increasingly being affected by coal mining subsidence and traffic had declined; the section from Staveley to Chesterfield was unnavigable by 1905 and Norwood Tunnel was a constant problem.  In 1907, a large collapse in the tunnel, was beyond the resources of the canal company to repair and permanently split the canal.  The eastern portion remained viable but navigation on the western part was effectively abandoned and the channel used to supply water to Staveley Iron Works.  A housing development was built on part of the canal bed at Killamarsh in the 1970s.

Five miles and five locks have been restored to navigation from Chesterfield to the new Staveley Basin, and there is a sixth restored lock beyond the basin; Staveley Town lock was opened in time for the IWA National Trailboat Festival in 2016.

[Photo left shows Tapton Lock and the adjacent visitor centre – by Chesterfield Canal Trust]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: S41 7JB

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Boat Dimensions

The maximum boat dimensions on the isolated Derbyshire section of the Chesterfield Canal are:

Length: 72′ 0” (21.94m)
Beam: 7′ 0” (2.13m)
Height: 7′ 1” (2.15m)

A special key is required for the locks which is, available from the visitor centre at Tapton Lock.

Staveley Town Basin has a slipway and a craning pad.  There is another smaller slipway below Tapton Lock.

Canoeing, Hire Boats and Trip Boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the western end of the Chesterfield Canal with a Derbyshire County Council licence (obtained from Tapton Lock visitor centre) or British Canoeing membership. Canoeists are asked to let the Visitor Centre have your British Canoeing membership number and postcode.

The Chesterfield Canal Trust runs regular trips on the John Varley from Tapton Lock Visitor Centre.

You can also hire canoes from Chesterfield Canal Trust’s Hollingwood Hub at Staveley.

Also see…

Hollingwood Hub, the home of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, has a visitor centre, shop, café, paddle-sports hire and more.

Challenge Location


All boats must be licensed by Derbyshire County Council.

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