The Norbriggs cutting was a branch canal which joined the original line of the Chesterfield Canal at the north end of the Puddle Bank near Huggester Farm to the old turnpike road between Worksop and Chesterfield, now the A619. The following is an extract from Next Navigation West, 2013 Revision, by Dr Geraint Coles. It describes the issues pertaining to restoration of this stretch of canal.
Like the rest of Next Navigation West, it is available to download by clicking here and then clicking on Restoration Plans.
© Chesterfield Canal Partnership.
2.5.19 The Norbriggs Cutting was a branch canal which originally joined the original line of the canal at the north end of the original Puddle Bank, near Huggester Farm. The Norbriggs Cutting terminated in a wharf on the Worksop Road (a toll road) from where ran the one of the first recorded railways in Derbyshire – described in the company minutes for 1798 as a “Newcastle Raile Way” and built to encourage development of the coal mines in the Staveley Area and bring greater traffic onto the canal. The cutting, wharf and the traces of the early railway are of considerable historical importance.
2.5.20 The channel of the Norbriggs Cutting is partially infilled and is undulating having suffered considerable mining subsidence at several locations. At present there are only small areas of shallow wetland remaining around the un-named crossing about a third of the way along the cutting. The remaining majority of the arm is dry and partially infilled with field soil and domestic refuse.
2.5.21 There is no intention to restore the Norbriggs Cutting for boating or angling, however since the first edition of this report, some rain fed shallow ponds have been created for nature conservation purposes and offer an element of compensation for the loss of shallow water or seasonally drying habitats at other locations. Further, the entire length of the towpath along the Cutting has been surfaced as a multiuser trail and forms an element of the North East Derbyshire Greenway Network. At the same time, work on the grown out towpath hedges has started to bring them back under control and opened views from the Trail to the adjacent Mastin Moor Flash.
2.5.22 The Norbriggs Cutting is now managed as an integral part of the Doe Lea (Mastin Moor Flash) nature reserve and provides a link between the LNR and the canal corridor.
2.5.23 The new puddlebank being slightly higher and to the north of the original junction with the Norbriggs Cutting will enable the preservation (by burial) of this junction point and the foundations of Norbriggs or Packsaddle Bridge (Bridge No.15) which once gave access to the arm. Interpretation at this point and at the other end of the cutting on the site of the Wharf will explain the historical and environmental significance of the Norbriggs Arm.
This map is from the 1890s.