Sandiacre Lock Cottages
At Sandiacre, a lock chamber and bridge were constructed. Adjacent to the lock chamber, a cottage and stable were provided for a lengthsman (a person who was responsible for a length of the canal). When the Derby Canal joined the Erewash canal at Sandiacre in 1797 a toll house was built adjoining the lengthman’s cottage to serve both the Erewash and Derby canals.
The Sandiacre lock cottages and toll house are now a museum run by the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association (ECP&DA) volunteers. The cottages are usually open on the third Sunday of the month.
Abandonment and preservation
In September 1964, Long Eaton Urban District Council served a Demolition Order on the British Waterways Board regarding the former Sandiacre lock cottages and toll house. In December 1964, the British Waterways Board was granted Planning Permission to replace the cottages with a bungalow. The bungalow was built behind the lock cottages and is now 11 Lock Lane.
After learning that it was planned to demolish the last lock cottages on the canal, i.e.Sandiacre lock cottages and toll house, the ECP&DA committee investigated the possibility of obtaining a lease to use the cottages as Headquarters and a base for operations.
Early efforts to save the cottages and toll house met with little success. A planning application was refused, so an appeal was lodged. A letter written to Sir Frank Price, Chairman of British Waterways Board, obtained through his intervention, a much more helpful attitude and in 1969 the ECP&DA was granted permission to use the Sandiacre cottages and toll house as their meeting rooms for one year.
Although final necessary arrangements were expected to be completed in September, the Association didn't get the keys until 1 December 1969.
In May 1986 the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest was revised to include the lock chamber and bridge on the Erewash Canal and the cottages and toll house. They are now listed as Grade 11 buildings.
In March 1991 the ECP&DA was granted Planning Permission to use the Sandiacre cottages and toll house as their meeting rooms on a permanent basis.
A Canal & River Trust Heritage Assessment was carried out in 2016 and made the recommendation that the cottages retained their Grade 11 listed status and were a rare example with a very high heritage status.
Having leased the Sandiacre Lock Cottages since 1969, ECP&DA purchased the buildings from Canal & River Trust in December 2017.
1991 to the present day
The cottages were first opened to the public during 1991. The cottages and toll house have been maintained in an unspoilt condition to provide a glimpse of the Erewash canal's heritage.
The cottages are now used as a museum to reflect a bygone era and generally.open on the third Sunday of the month with extra openings on bank holidays and leading up to Christmas. There are many artefacts, pictures and story boards that have been carefully researched and created by a group of dedicated volunteers over many years.
Entry is free and freshly made cakes with a hot drink and open fire make it a very desirable place to spend a couple of hours..