Waterways of Stoke-on-Trent - Cauldon Canal


The Caldon Canal joins the Trent and Mersey at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, and was built to carry minerals from the uplands of the Peak District to the Potteries. In recent years, the canal has been restored for pleasure craft, a magnificent section being through the Churnet Valley. Reminders of the Industrial Revolution along its banks include the remains of lime kilns, ironstone workings and ironworks. Perhaps the best is the Flint Mill at Cheddleton, now restored as a museum of industrial archaeology.

Rudyard Lake and two other large reservoirs feed the Caldon Canal which, in turn, supplies water to the Trent & Mersey Canal. For much of its length, the waterway runs alongside the picturesque River Churnet.

Key Dates:

1779: The Caldon Canal was opened as far as Froghall.

1811: A 13 mile extension was completed from Froghall to Uttoxeter.

1817: The Leek Arm was built to supply the town with coal.

1845: The Froghall to Uttoxeter extension was replaced by a railway, much of which used the canal bed as its track.


Froghall Wharf: Limestone was brought by tramway to the canal terminus, and burnt in kilns. The remains of the kilns and tramway and a canal warehouse survive at the end of the navigation. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Etruria: This is where the Caldon Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal, and the location of Jesse Shirley’s Etruscan Bone Mill, built in 1857 to provide materials for the pottery industry. BW and City of Stoke-on-Trent have worked together to create a visitor centre next to the mill.

Cheddleton: Water-powered flint mills stand between the canal and the River Churnet, and there is a small visitor centre to view the mill.

Rudyard Lake: This is north west of Leek and, in its Victorian and Edwardian heyday, was a major tourist attraction. It is an unspoilt spot in wooded countryside.

Hazelhurst: The junction of the Leek Arm with the Caldon Canal. From the junction the Caldon descends the three Hazelhurst Locks, whilst the Leek Arm crosses the Caldon at Hazelhurst Aqueduct.


Cauldon Canal
Cauldon Canal

From British Waterways


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