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The Erewash Canal is nearly 12 miles long, running from the river Trent, near Long Eaton, to Langley Mill. For the most part it follows the river Erewash, the boundary between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The canal crosses the river on the three-arched Shipley Aqueduct.
It is a wide canal with 14 locks; it was surveyed by John Smith and designed by John Varley. The canal was built largely to bring coal from the Erewash Valley pits to the river Trent for onward trade to Nottingham and Leicester
1777 received Parliamentary approval
By 1779 it had been constructed at cost of £21000, £2000 under budget and ahead of time.
The original proprietors were coal owners Robert Barber and Thomas Walker who later formed the Barber Walker Colliery Co. They were also proprietors of the Cromford Canal and the Nottingham Canal, which joined the top end of the Erewash Canal in 1794.
The Erewash was never taken over by the railways and remained profitable and independent until absorbed into the Grand Union Canal in the 1930s. Coal mining subsidence did not affect the Erewash Canal as badly as its connecting canals.
The Cromford Canal was later built to connect with the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill.