Shardlow has a unique place in
the history of the country. The 18th century canal port, with all its associated
wharves and warehouses is clearly to be seen. Originally a river port,
Shardlow developed greatly with the opening of the Trent and Mersey Canal
in 1770. Goods were transferred from wide boats to narrow boats and stored
during this operation or while awaiting redistribution by road, in a growing
range of warehouses. Along with this development came all sorts of other
businesses and buildings to support the carriers, boat builders, rope walks,
workshops, stores, stables, offices, workers' cottages and owners' houses.
The decline of the Canal business brought different uses for the warehouses
but the area remains remarkably unchanged.
For more on the history
of the port, go to 'The
Working Port - 1770 to 1948'
the Shardlow Bronze Age boat
3 Medieval Bridges over the
a Barrow at Lockington
an Iron Age Settlement between
Shardlow / Wilne and the river Trent
Roman finds at Great Wilne
River Trent Crossing
There is much evidence of Iron
Age, Bronze Age and Roman settlements in the Trent Valley, and discoveries
near Shardlow include :
The early bridges are of particular
interest to us because we know that the present A6 Derby - London route
crossing the river Trent at Cavendish Bridge was not the original crossing
point. (The old route is mentioned in our page 'Virtual Walk' with reference
to the 1882 map) The old route went from the Dog and Duck , 'behind' Shardlow
Hall, to Wilne, and then onwards across the Trent towards Kegworth.
The siting of the 3 ancient bridges
is consistent with this, but we don't yet know the precise location of
the original Wilden Ferry which was probably in the same area; although
later we believe that Wilden Ferry 'relocated' to the present site of Cavendish
“The only regular road service into Derby was the
caravan-like vehicle of Potts, the carrier from Castle Donington, in which
the passengers struggled for existence with various forms of livestock,
innumerable parcels of uncomfortable shape and size, and odd bits of agricultural
machinery”. Dr. Lethbridge Farmer’s memories of old Shardlow.
||This post card of about 1904 shows the bus outside the Midland Station
Centenary Leaflet - 1938