The Trent Navigation Company

Famous Fleets: NarrowBoat, Summer 2018

Alan Faulkner

Alan Faulkner studies the carrying arm of The Trent Navigation Company (Additional material supplied by Chris M. Jones)

The Trent is a very old navigation, and the first Act of Parliament relating to it was passed in 1699. At that time there were two channels that could be used for navigation at Newark: one passed through the town itself, while the other, which served as the main route used by barges, bypassed the town via Averham, Kelham and South Muskham. Newark’s inhabitants were anxious to attract more traffic to their route and, in 1772, an Act was passed that contained powers to complete and improve the section into the town and laid down the tonnage rates. The Act also authorised the construction of two locks – one in the centre of Newark and the other downstream at Newark Nether – and this led to it becoming the main route for river traffic. While Nottingham was undoubtedly the main destination for traffic on the Trent, barges could navigate further inland. In 1783, another Act authorised improving the navigation from Wilden Ferry in the west to Gainsborough, and also empower…

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