Charnwood Forest Canal Tunnel Off Ashby Road, Shepshed (Locally Listed)

Geo: 52.7624, -1.3211
Date ListedThu 17th June, 2004
CategoryLocally Listed Building
AddressCharnwood Forest Canal Tunnel Off Ashby Road Shepshed LEICS
GradeLocally Listed
Grid ReferenceSK4590918532

Canal Tunnel on Charnwood Forest Canal. Perhaps originally 2 tunnels but only one remains. Built Late C18 for the Leicester Navigation Company to facilitate transport of coal from West Charnwood to Loughborough. William Jessop, Surveyor. Waterway designed as a contour canal between Thringstone and Nanpantan. Each terminus linked respectively to coalfield and Soar Navigation by horse drawn tramway ((to avoid expensive locks).
Tunnel of red brick barrel vault construction. Brick on end voussoirs at each opening. Granite rubble bed to waterway with built up brick towpaths. Canal overwhelmed c1799 by dam collapse at Blackbrook Resevoir. Repaired c1801 but soon abandoned when transhipment of coal between barges and tramway proved too costly. Tunnel later adapted to accommodate bridging by Charnwood Forest Railway c1881-83 (Derby Road, Loughborough to Coalville). Line closed under Beeching plan Dec 1963. Also circular brick drain feeding water from Blackbrook Reservoir.

The description above describes the salient features of the building as it was at the date of listing. It is given in order to aid identification; it is not intended to be either comprehensive or exclusive.