Upper Basin c1900

Important Announcement

Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust, Formerly the Inland Waterways Protection Society (IWPS)
(Registered Charity number 513405)

For more than 40 years the Inland Waterways Protection Society has worked to save and restore this complex of canal loading and transhipment basins in the Derbyshire Peak District. Now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and with restoration largely complete, the role of IWPS is one of managing and promoting Bugsworth as a destination venue, attracting more than 50,000 visitors a year, hence the change of name to Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust (BBHT).

The charity now wishes to strengthen its management and volunteer teams, through recruiting volunteers to fill the following roles:-

Deputy Site Manager;
Health and Safety Administrator;
Bugsworth Basin Guides;
Shop assistants;
Maintenance volunteers; and
Publicity Officer.

All of the above roles are voluntary and unremunerated. For fuller details please see roles advertisement.

Relevant induction and training will be provided and some direct expenses will be reimbursed.

Job specifications from and applications to Dr Paul Syms, who is advising the trustees, at paul.syms@homecall.co.uk, who would also be happy to respond to requests for telephone discussions.

Bugsworth Canal Basin, the head of navigation of the Peak Forest Canal, was the largest and busiest inland port on Britain's narrow canal system and the only one to survive intact.  
Famous canal and tramway engineer, Benjamin Outram, built the 14 mile long Peak Forest Canal from Dukinfield to Bugsworth, although plans to extend to Chapel Milton via Whitehough were never realised. Construction of the six-mile Peak Forest Tramway in 1795-96 linked Bugsworth Basin to the limestone and gritstone quarries in Derbyshire, and the canal linked Bugsworth to Manchester and the trans-Pennine canal network.
With these transport systems in place Bugsworth thrived commercially. However, as early as 1804, experiments using steam locomotives to haul iron were underway in Wales. The ensuing unstoppable advancement in railway technology would, inevitably, lead to the decline and ultimate demise of the canal system.
Bugsworth Canal Basin is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (County Monument No. 242), and is thus protected by law under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act of 1979. Not only does this make it an offence to deface or injure the monument, all intended works, whether archaeological or otherwise, must first receive consent from the Secretary of State for National Heritage; a process administered by the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (English Heritage)

Saving a Unique Site

Starting in 1968 Volunteers of the Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd restored the canal and basins culminating in the re-opening to navigation in 2005. Now that restoration of navigation has been achieved, improvements and development will continue under the new organisation name: Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust.


The BBHT is not responsible for the contents of external websites. Our website may include links through to other sites, but we are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of those sites. The fact that we have a link to the site is no endorsement of that site, or that we accept any responsibility for that site or its contents.

Looking for accommodation near Bugsworth Basin - click the button below

Visit Bugsworth Basin and see this historic place for yourself

How to get there - click the map

Click the logo to read more about the CPRE award.




BBHT walkers at Framilode - September 2014

Click picture to view the Wayfarers Cottage website

Check out Wayfarers Cottage for Self Catering Accommodation


Book Review

Grahame Boyes and Brian Lamb, ‘The Peak Forest Canal and Railway; an Engineering and Business History’,  The Railway & Canal Historical Society, 2012, ISBN 948 0 901461 59 9. 30

In producing this high quality book (220 pages) Grahame Boyes has built upon the work of the late Brian Lamb adding to it that of later researchers including Ian Moss, who, determined to see Brian Lamb’s work published, rearranged Brian’s original text into a more themed structure. In bringing all this information together in one  book, the author has  created what can be best described as the definitive work relating the history of the Peak Forest Canal and associated tramway. 

The early chapters  describe the PFC in its wider setting, the formation of the company; its supporters, committee, officers  and the company’s servants, and the eventual involvement of the railway companies, are all presented in detail.

Well illustrated with maps, drawings and archive photographs, the following  chapters deal with building the canal and tramway, its main features (locks, aqueducts, warehouses, tramway tracks and wagons, etc,) before  covering aspects of operation and maintenance.  Following this, the invasion of the railways, the Canal Company’s stone business, traffic, trading facilities, and financial matters are all analysed and described, again with numerous photographs and illustrations.

In conclusion, the eventual decline and closure of the canal and tramway in the early 20th century is followed by a brief description of the restoration and reopening of the canal. This describes the dedicated involvement of the Peak Forest Canal Society volunteers on Marple Locks , the Lower Peak Forest and Ashton canals, and at Bugsworth Basin, the Inland Waterways Protection Society, initially led by the redoubtable Bessie Bunker and later by Ian Edgar MBE.

This book is a must have for anyone interested in our canal heritage and at 30 including postage represents a very good buy indeed.

The volume is available from RCHS Books, 4 Broadway, Lincoln, LN2 1SH,

Also available from PFCC Ltd Sales. Please contact Ian Edgar MBE if you would like a copy.

Important Notice for Boaters, Clubs and Organisations

Bugsworth Basin Moorings

By agreement with Canal & River Trust, BBHT monitor the mooring activity at Bugsworth Basin, a popular destination for many boaters.  At times of low demand, Canal & River Trust are content to relax the 48 hour restriction provided that no customers are disadvantaged by anyone staying longer than the normal 48 hours; and provided that the extended stay has been agreed with the BBHT representative at the site, at the time. To prevent boats with extended mooring permission being issued with an Overstayer's Penalty, BBHT will issue a temporary notice to be displayed alongside the boat's current licence.

Please note: Moorings CANNOT be pre-booked and are occupied on a first come, first served basis.  At peak times, e.g. public and bank holidays, the basins are often the venue for club and organisation cruises with up to 60 boats arriving unannounced.

BBHT is NOT responsible for events at Bugsworth nor is it accountable for the allocation of mooring places.

Organisers of events should notify their intention to hold them at Bugsworth to the Waterway Manager, Canal & River Trust Manchester and Pennine, Red Bull Wharf, Church Lawton, Stoke on Trent, ST7 3AP, by completing an Application Form which can be downloaded from the Canal & River Trust website:


Application forms should be emailed to: enquiries.manchesterpennine@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Events organisers are reminded that it is a legal requirement that they complete a Risk Assessment before holding any waterway event.

A Blank Risk Assessment form, a sample Risk Assessment and Guidance Notes can also be downloaded from the above CRT website.

Whenever possible, the BBHT will provide information to boaters regarding mooring availability at the basins.

Contact: Ian Edgar MBE

Mobile: 07710 361093 Phone: 0161 427 7402 Email ian@bugsworthbasin.org

Volunteer to help the BBHT at Bugsworth Basin

Click here to view the year's work programme

Enjoy walking the waterways network with BBHT

Click here to view this year's walks programme Click here to get full details of the next walk Click here to read a report of the last walk

The Trust (formerly IWPS), an entirely voluntary organisation, has for more than 40 years worked towards the restoration of navigation into Bugsworth Canal Basin. 
Click the BBHT logo to learn more about the Trust

Contact list and Officers of the IWPS

A potted history of the formation of the IWPS Limited

Mission Statement of the IWPS

Join the IWPS and help the restoration - includes application form, standing order and gift aid declaration

Industrial Archaeology and its application to Bugsworth Basin

Click here to read 'The Legacy of Bugsworth Basin' a potted history of an important relic of the Industrial Revolution

The Legacy of Bugsworth Basin - the where, what, why about Bugsworth Basin.  

174 - the quarterly newletter keeping you abreast of the progress of the restoration and containing much historical and topical information

174 - The IWPS quarterly newsletter is no longer being published - a new newsletter is planned to be introduced later in 2014.  Click the 174 - IWPS Newsletter logo to review the archive. 

A series of photographs relating the restoration from dereliction to navigation

Click the History of Restoration logo to view a brief photo history in a series of pictures showing the progression from dereliction to restoration for areas of the basins.

Opens a map of the basin - pointing to an area of interest opens a page with photographs and descriptive text

Click the Bugsworth Today logo to open a map of Bugsworth Basin as it is today, point to the area you want to view and left click.

PFCC Sales

Visit the IWPS sales pages to spend lots of money to assist the IWPS in the restoration of Bugsworth Basin
Click the logo to open the Sales Brochure

The IWPS raises funds through the sales of books, publications, souvenirs, tableware, clothing, etc. through its trading subsidiary The Peak Forest Canal Company Ltd. 
Please visit the Sales Counter by clicking the PFCC logo for more information of our product range and to support this worthy cause.

From BBHT Publications

Marple Lime Works, Mineral Mill and Brick Works

Another excellent 20 page booklet, written by Peter J Whitehead, illustrated with numerous historical photographs, sketches and maps, tells the story of the Marple Lime Works, Mineral Mill and Brick Works. It  also narrates the history of the Tymm family.

Published by the Inland Waterways Protection Society, the book is available from IWPS Sales price 1.75 (UK pounds).

Click the Star or here for more details.

Three excellent books from the BBHT

The Peak Forest Canal:
Its Construction and Later Development.

PFC - Upper Level Towpath Guide.

PFC - Lower Level Towpath Guide.

Written by Olive Bowyer with additions by Don Baines, Derek Brumhead and Peter J Whitehead.

These three excellent books, written by the late Olive Bowyer and first published by New Mills Local History Society, were brought up to date and enhanced by the addition of numerous historical photographs, maps and illustrations and published by the Inland Waterways Protection Society.  They are available from BBHT Sales, and New Mills Heritage Centre.

Click here for more details.

Historical and Photographic Archive CD-ROM  New Edition

Available from PFCC Sales price 12 (UK pounds)

CD-ROM: The History of the Restoration of Bugsworth Basin

Available from PFCC Sales price 15 or 25 for the two, if bought together with the Historical Archive cdrom above.

The fourth edition of the successful historical archive cd-rom has been expanded to include all of the Ashton Canal, the Stockport and Hollinwood branches.  Much more historical material including timelines, directories of people, village records, census returns, technical articles, etc, has been added.

This cd-rom tells the story of the restoration in photographs from the Bunker days, through the Edgar Era to the Easter 2005 opening. 

With 2900 captioned pictures taken by IWPS volunteers, their story is told. Included are IWPS and WRG workcamps, events like Granada TV Reports Action, burning the caravan, the fiendish weed cutter, the repairs by contractors and much more.

Click to read more about the Tea Towel offerSee the Bugsworth Canal Basin Tea Towels:

Price 3.80 (UK pounds) from PFCC Sales

Available in two colours, these specially-commissioned tea towels feature scenes around the basin and a map of the area.  The scenes are printed in either black or blue on a good quality cream linen cloth.

Historical Information Relating to Bugsworth Canal Basin and the Peak Forest Canal and Tramway
Please note that these pages are in the process of development and may not be immediately accessible

Except where stated otherwise, all of these articles are available in booklet form from PFCC Sales
Please Support the BBHT by buying these booklets

From Dukinfield to Bugsworth Basin - an Illustrated Guide to the Peak Forest Canal.
Includes a number of Picture Galleries

Limestone - The Bugsworth Legacy
by P J Whitehead

From the White Peak to the Mersey Basin and far beyond
This page describes the historical importance of the limestone and lime industries located in the Peak District and their effect on the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Archaeology of the Peak Forest Tramway
by P J Whitehead

This report describes the interpretation of tramway artifacts discovered at Bugsworth Basin and at other locations up the tramway to the quarries at Dove Holes.

The Peak Forest Tramway
by P J Whitehead
Not available in booklet form
An illustrated description of the line of the tramway from Dove Holes to Bugsworth, its history, construction, operation and eventual demise. A guided walk along "The Tramway Trail" is also included. 
Crist and Barren Clough Quarries 
by P J Whitehead
Not available in booklet form
A description of the development and working of the two important gritstone quarries which were located close to Bugsworth Basin.
The true story of John Cotton who murdered his wife on a narrowboat moored at Bugsworth on the 26th October 1898. It is reputed that he was the last man to be hanged at Derby Gaol. 

The Memoirs of
Mrs Martha Barnes
Recorded by George Needham
Edited by Martin Whalley

Recorded in 1969, these are the reminiscences of Mrs Martha Barnes, then aged 98, describing life in and around Bugsworth during the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

The Beat Bank Branch Canal
The Canal That Never Was
by Peter J Whitehead
Childhood Memories of the Hamlet of Beat Bank 
Lost Features
by P J Whitehead
Roll of Buildings and Structures lost at Bugsworth Canal Basin since 1968
Listed below are pages relating to the conversion of the Peak Forest Tramway into a walking and cycling trail proposed by Chapel-en-le-Frith Regeneration Partnership. 
Elevated Tramway
by P J Whitehead

Tramway Features
by P J Whitehead
Photographic accounts of features of the Peak Forest Tramway at Bugsworth Canal Basin. One describes the unique elevated tramway and the other an original tramway bridge and the last tramway wharf (platform).
Thomas Brown
by P J Whitehead
A tribute to the life of Thomas Brown of Disley and Manchester, Surveyor and Resident Engineer to the Company of Proprietors of the Peak Forest Canal.
Minutes to be observed in the construction of railways
A paper written by Benjamin Outram (1764 - 1805)
Benjamin Outram
by P J Whitehead
A tribute to the life of Benjamin Outram of Alfreton, Derbyshire
– Civil Engineer and Industrialist
Newly-added articles relating to the Peak Forest Canal and Tramway and the Cromford & High Peak Railway
An introduction to the Cromford and High Peak railway and its relationship with the Peak Forest Canal and Tramway
Chuckling Joe
by Crichton Porteous
An adaptation by P J Whitehead of the story about a well-known Chapel-en-le-Frith character.
More technical and historical information about the Peak Forest Canal and Tramway, railways, bridges and much more can be found on Peter Whitehead's own website www.pittdixon.go-plus.net/ 

Please note: the articles on Peter's site are complete and no additional information is available from the author.

These pages are hosted by David Kitching alongside his own website.

David's pages contain a variety of subjects:

The Home Page is www.brocross.com and contains the following pages:

1 - The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Cheshire
Cheshire Dragonflies.

2 - Canals and Inland Waterways
The Ashton, Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals.

3 - Industrial History and Archaeology, particularly the coal mining industry in Cheshire
Poynton Collieries History

4 - Industrial History and Archaeology, an online version of the book
Poynton A Coalmining Village

 Visit these interesting sites - but only after you have visited all the BBHT pages

The BBHT is not responsible for the contents of external websites

Canal & River Trust Macclesfield Canal Society Marple Locks Heritage Society New Mills Heritage Centre Waterway Recovery Group
Canal Boat Trips for Disabled People Canal Junction Peak Forest Canal Pages Hollinwood Canal Society Manchester & Stockport Canal Society
National Stone Centre Torrs Hydro New Mills Guide to visiting the Peak District Visit the Peakland Heritage Site Marine Information website
Parish Council Website
Whaley Bridge Town Website Macclesfield News Online Peak Forest Canal Carrying Company History of Peak Forest and Dove Holes
Derbyshire Record Office Gloucester Transport History Website Access to Archives  Navigation Inn - Bugsworth Derbyshire Archaeology Society
  Ropes, Fenders,
Trafalgar Marine Services
Walking the Peak Forest Tramway  

This website has been developed from the previous version and incorporates a descriptive leaflet and display material produced by Adrian Bury Associates, phone 01937 590541, email Adrian@BuryAssociates.fsnet.co.uk
Design by Farmer Design Associates and Illustrations by Tim Wootton

Version 8.0 Last updated 31/08/2014

Click here to read IWPS Copyright Information