Constitution Hill Bridge is at the bottom of Constitution Hill in Staveley. This is a footpath that leads down from the Church of St John the Baptist, which is next to Staveley Hall. It used to cross the canal on a wooden bridge.The path then continues over the River Rother and on towards Barrow Hill. The old Constitution Hill Bridge was demolished decades ago when the canal was infilled. Our Volunteer Work Party has been working to build the abutments for the new bridge, helped by the Waterway Recovery Group.
This map is from a survey done in 1892. Constitution Hill Bridge is Bridge No. 11. The path to Staveley Church goes downwards, that to Barrow Hill goes upward.
This is from an 1876 map. Constitution Hill goes left from below the Boys’ School. The bridge is just above where it says Flour Mill. Hall Lane Bridge is in the middle at the top.
2003. Our Work Party is excavating the old abutment walls in order to rebuild them.
The offside wall after underpinning.
Laying the coping stones.
August 8th 2010. This is the site of the bridge. Our Work Party has built the washwall which has been covered to preserve the Right of Way. The bridge will go where the two stakes are at the narrows. This is looking west, Mill Green is in the distance.
May 18th 2011. These are the narrows for the bridge. You can see how superb the workmanship is.
August 13th. The same view after flooding. To see the full story, click here.
March 23rd 2012. N. T. Killingley Ltd. (the contractors who built Staveley Town Basin) has put in the foundations for the new bridge. This was paid for by Derbyshire County Council. They own the canal in Derbyshire and their engineers designed the bridge.
April 6th. The Waterway Recovery Group is starting the abutments for the new bridge.
As you can see, they are leaving a hollow interior.
19th April. The space inside will be filled with concrete.
17th May. Here is the concrete going in.
19th August. The Waterway Recovery Group is back.
The walls are growing.
December 9th. Work has been progressing slowly, mostly because of dreadful weather.
The north (towpath) side is at the top level.
The top platform is being cast. Unfortunately one of the cement mixers has packed up, so it is slow going.
This shows the south abutments and the Constitution Hill footpath which leads up to Staveley Church.
These are the fine fellows who are doing all the grafting – the Chesterfield Canal Trust Volunteer Work Party.
April 7th 2013. One of the reasons why work can be slow is that everything has to be set up and then dismantled every work day. This includes setting up, then removing, the bridge and installing, then removing, the scaffolding boards.
April 28th. Things are really coming on now. The right hand parapet wall and side wall is complete, as are the pillars.
There will be a handrail up the middle of the steps and coping stones atop the walls.
The view from the top of the north abutment looking south. Compared to the photo higher up, you can see that the platform to hold the bridge deck has been cast.
The view east towards Hall Lane and Staveley Town Basin.
The view north from the offside (south) abutment.
This is looking west, towards Mill Green.
They will soon be working on the south abutment.
May 27th. Now the south abutments are flying up.
June 9th. The north abutments are just awaiting the coping stones and handrails.
July 21st. One side wall of the south abutments is complete.
We must thank Staveley store for letting us store the bricks in their secure compound.
August 4th 2013. Magnificent, all the brickwork is now finished. Congratulations to our Volunteer Work Party.
The view from the south. We need more stone for the steps and the coping stones to top the walls and the pillars and the deck is yet to be purchased. That is in the hands of Derbyshire County Council. When it is available, the bridge will be finished and opened, but our Work Party will now be moving on to Staveley Town Lock.
Some of our hero Work Party. From left to right, Phil Darwent, Dave Kiddy, Roy Stringer, Dave France, Mick Croft, Adrian Shackshaft, Terry Berridge plus Bunnie! Apologies to Ralph O’Gorman, Mick Hodgetts and Keith O’Gorman who were working elsewhere.
The DCC canal volunteers, who are organised by the DCC Countryside Rangers, have built these steps that lead down from the towpath to the bridge over the River Rother.
Photo by David Blackburn.
April 11th 2014. Some of our volunteers on the newly fitted bridge.
For the full story, click here.
October 1st 2017. The Work Party has fitted some of the coping stones.
They look really smart.
The capstones echo those on the original bridge. (Drawing by Thomas Peabody)