The Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust (CUCT) has been running a project over the past 3 years to put back some canal history and reinstate mileposts along the line of the old Uttoxeter canal to identify its route and to form the basis for “milepost” walks from Uttoxeter to Oakamoor initially and Froghall eventually. The first part of the project saw mileposts reinstated between Oakamoor and Denstone in 2016. The current part of the project is reinstating the six remaining mileposts from Rocester to Uttoxeter.
A brief background history to the canal is that it opened in 1811 and ran for 13 miles from Froghall Wharf down to a terminus in Uttoxeter via the Churnet valley. The canal was short lived and closed in 1849 when it was superseded by the North Staffordshire railway with much of it being lost below the railway.
The route of the canal was that from its terminus in the wharf area of Uttoxeter it headed West to near the Parks pub following the 300 foot contour where it then looped back to Spath crossing the River Tean on a metal viaduct. Some of the canal bed can be seen in Spath, curving behind the houses to the West of the Stramshall Road. It then went under a bridge, carrying the Stramshall road, by Bridge Barn/Farm and carried on to Rocester via Combridge still along the 300 foot contour thus eliminating the need for any locks. From Rocester, where its line is through the middle of the JCB factory, it went on to Denstone, Alton, Oakamoor finally joining the Caldon canal at Froghall Wharf.
Good progress has been made on the milepost reinstatement and four of the six have been reinstated so far as follows: in the traffic island at Park Place, Uttoxeter; on the opposite side of the A50 from The Parks pub close to where the canal crossed the River Tean; at Bridge Barn, Spath and finally at Limecrofts Farm between Stramshall and Combridge. The remaining two mileposts to be reinstated were kindly sponsored by JCB and these are to be installed by the end of April.
The final phase of the project will be to produce a set of “milepost walk” notes highlighting points of interest along the way and to produce interpretation boards as appropriate.
The Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust would like to thank those people who have supported our project in many different ways and made it possible.
The Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust always welcomes new members particularly anybody who would like to help us bring the canal back to life by participating in our monthly volunteer work parties. We would also like to hear from anybody who has a photo of the Tean viaduct as yet we haven’t been able to find one of this interesting feature.
For further information and to contact the Trust, visit www.cuct.org.uk
The Echo Newspaper wrote about the Canal Mileposts that have been installed within the Parish, please see the article below: