CAL­DON

Canal Boat - - Arms & Dead Ends -

The Cal­don Canal is one of our longer dead ends, but it’s still just 17 miles long. How­ever, it man­ages to squeeze into that length more va­ri­ety and more fea­tures than many longer wa­ter­ways. Built as a branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal (and an im­por­tant sup­plier of wa­ter to the main line), it starts from a junction at Etruria in the Stafford­shire Pot­ter­ies, and ends in a se­cluded basin at Froghall, in the beau­ti­ful Chur­net Val­ley and on the edge of the Stafford­shire Moor­lands. In be­tween, it takes in flights of locks, a stair­case, a tunnel, aque­ducts, lift­bridges, a mile-long length of the River Chur­net, and an arm of its own: the Leek Arm, which crosses the Froghall line on an aqueduct, passes through an­other tunnel, and ends on the edge of the old market town of Leek.

Today, the Chur­net Val­ley is a re­mote ru­ral de­light. But stop to ex­plore and you’ll find signs that this was once a cen­tre of in­dus­try in the form of limekilns, old horse tramways and flint mills.

Fi­nally at Froghall, you can look for­ward to one day con­tin­u­ing along the old Ut­tox­eter ex­ten­sion.

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