deeps and shallows. Te Trent Navigation Commissioners eventually settled for a minimum depth of 2’ 6”, the stand- ard depth for canals. Tis project also required much labour. Considerable lengths of restraining walls needed to be built along with locks, lock keepers’ cottages and many other fea- tures. Te original Newark Town lock and lock keeper’s cot- tage can still be seen at Lock Entry, close to the junction of Castle Gate and Mill Gate.
Te effect of this canalisation was to facilitate the two-way transport of goods, from the Humber all the way to Shardlow, a few miles upstream of Nottingham, where the Trent and Mersey Canal, opened in 1760, joined the Trent, thus pro- viding a water link between Newark and the west coast. With much improved roads serving the town and improved river facilities, the stage was set for Newark to enjoy a new prosper- ity – almost!
Better access from the north via Muskham Road resulted in
more traffic feeding into a narrow bridge with a wooden deck and furthermore, although there was enough water now to allow barges to go to Nottingham and beyond and back, the stone piers of the bridge were too close to permit passage of larger boats, partly defeating the object of providing deeper water.
In 1775, the Duke of Newcastle had a bridge designed and built with wider and higher arches. Tis bridge is on the same site as that built by Bishop Alexander in the 12th century, and is still in use, although footways were added in 1848.
Te necessary collection of tolls required the construction of
a new tollhouse, also still extant. In parts it is substantially re- built and now serves as headquarters for the Nottinghamshire Area Women’s Institute.
Although it is considered by some that the malting and
brewing industry was not part of the industrial revolution but merely the tail end of the agrarian revolution, it had already become commercialised and increasingly mechanised, with larger concerns already established well before 1775. Tere are strong arguments to support the notion that the industrial age had already begun albeit with agricultural bias. Malting too was creating employment for a number of people, pos- sibly some of the builders who were unable to work in winter. Malting, unlike today when it is a year round activity, was mainly restricted to the period October to April, the other months being too warm.
On occasions even the minute books of Corporations can make interesting reading. An account of horse races to be
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11