History of the Ashby Canal
The present Ashby Canal is 22 miles (35.4 km) long with no locks and runs from the Coventry Canal at Bedworth to Snarestone. Previously, the canal was 30 miles long to a terminus at Moira. However, the northern 8 miles were progressively closed as a result to coal mining subsidence in 1944, 1957 & 1966. Originally built as a broad canal with connecting tramways the stop lock at Marston junction was rebuilt as a narrow lock in 1819 effectively restricting through traffic to narrow boats.
The Ashby Canal Association was formed in 1966; born out of concern caused by the canal closures. In recent years an isolated section of 1½ miles has been restored at Moira which can be accessed by trail-boats. Consequently, this section includes a new wide beam lock and hosts an annual festival. Restoration of the abandoned section to link the two sections continues; currently with fundraising for the replacement of Gilwiskaw Aqueduct.
Photo: Moored boats at Snarestone Wharf on the Ashby Canal by Phil Sharpe.