Trent and Mersey Canal

The Trent & Mersey Canal connects the river Trent navigation at Derwent Mouth near Shardlow with the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook, which formerly gave access to the Mersey at Runcorn.  At present the Runcorn locks are derelict, although restoration is proposed.  The Mersey can still be reached either via the Anderton Boat Lift and river Weaver to the Manchester Ship Canal or via the Middlewich Arm and Shropshire Union Canal to Ellesmere Port.  The Trent & Mersey Canal also connects with the Macclesfield Canal via the Hall Green Branch at Kidsgrove, the Caldon Canal at Etruria in Stoke-on-Trent, the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal at Great Haywood, and the Coventry Canal at Fradley Junction, justifying its original name of the Grand Trunk.  Other former connections were the Burslem Arm (restoration proposed) and Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal (derelict and mostly filled in) in the Stoke area, the Bond End Canal at Burton-on-Trent and the Derby Canal (under restoration) at Swarkestone.  From Derwent Mouth to Horninglow Wharf at Burton the canal was built wide beam to take Upper Trent barges, and also from Preston Brook to Big Lock at Middlewich to take Mersey Flats, although this section was later restricted by Dutton stop lock and at Croxton aqueduct.  The Trent & Mersey Canal is 93 miles long and has 76 locks.

The maximum size of boat that can navigate throughout the Trent & Mersey Canal is
length: 72' (21.95 metres) - Shardlow Lock
beam: 7' 3" (2.2 metres) - Sandon Lock
height: 5' 9" (1.74 metres) - Harecastle Tunnel
draught: 3' 3" (0.98 metres) - cill of Dallow Lock



IWA Branches

Chester and Merseyside - Preston Brook to junction with the Wardle Lock Branch at Middlewich
- Sandon Lock to Dove Aqueduct
Nottingham & Derbyshire - Dove Aqueduct to Derwent Mouth
North Staffordshire & South Cheshire - Sandon Lock to Middlewich Arm (including Wardle Lock Branch)

Navigation Authority

Canal & River Trust
Head Office
First Floor North
Station House
500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

T: 0303 040 4040
Canal & River Trust website

Preston Brook to Hardings Wood Junction
Red Bull Wharf, Congleton Road South, Church Lawton, Stoke on Trent, ST7 3AP

Hardings Wood Junction to Derwent Mouth
Peel's Wharf, Lichfield Street, Fazeley, Tamworth, B78 3QZ