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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Ticknall Tramway Route

Back to the full team today for the first time in a while. Geoff wanted to have a look at the horse drawn tramway route around Calke Abbey. Straight down through Derby and to the village of Ticknall and parked up in the village hall car park.
Robs turn to drive and we set off walking from the car park at 06:50 and had a small diversion first where we think there was a quarry then back to the main drive leading up to the Abbey. We found a style and this lead us to the first tunnel where the tramway went. After finding the tramway it was a case of just following the track.
Near the entrance to Calke Abbey is Tramway Bridge, which is now a Grade II listed structure. There is also a tramway tunnel, almost 140 yards in length, under the drive to Calke Abbey. The National Trust restored it in the 1990s and it can be traversed on foot. It was built in 1802 by the Derbyshire engineer Benjamin Outram to carry the former Ticknall Tramway and subsequently connect the brickyards and limeyards around the village to the Ashby canal at Willesley Basin. It was too costly to build the expensive locks that would have been required to bring the canal to Ticknall, so the tramway was constructed as a cheaper alternative. Although abandoned in 1915, the tramway can still be traced intermittently along its route, which passed through the estate of Calke Abbey where two tunnels were needed.

Route along the Tramway

Rob in the tunnel under one of the light wells

Rob & Ike

Like the old beams on this gable end

English Long Horn, looks ready for milking

Breakfast, i'm sure they pull these faces on purpose 

Geoff & Ike

Geoff airing his feet 

The track was very firm and quite level and some of it was lined with high vegetation so we couldn't see into the fields. But when we cleared this area the countryside is rolling and and very easy on the eye. There seamed to be lots of horses around and we stumbled over a herd of English Long Horns. There were several tunnels and arches for the tramway with one of the tunnels being quite dark and you had to keep in the middle or risk banging your head. It was a bit cooler than it has been lately and at one stage a few drops of rain but not for long. Almost 7 miles but thoroughly enjoyable.
See you next week.