Retro: The Trent has played a big part in the development of Bassetlaw

Sturton-le-Steeple around 1900
Sturton-le-Steeple around 1900

The River Trent forms Bassetlaw’s eastern boundary with Lincolnshire as part of its journey through the county, and through the city of Nottingham itself.

The Trent has been an important waterway for Bassetlaw since early times.

Many of the villages along its banks had developed as small ports handling the river traffic.

There were also crossing points at many of these villages, eitherby fords, ferries, or toll bridges.

The Roman Road from Lincoln to Doncaster actually forded the Trent at Littleborough.

The ford is gone today but close by is Sturton-le-Steeple, one the the little villages that developed along the Trent route.

Our picture shows a house from the village from around 1900 with its thatched roof and weather board construction.

There are no surviving examples house-building of that kind anywhere in Bassetlaw now.

At the turn of the last century, steam packets plied along the Trent and were used as a market day service, as well as for pleasure excursions.

The rise of the railways meant the decline of the river as a main transport route, but it still played its part in moving produce and trade to and from Bassetlaw and remains an important waterway through the district today.

Another important waterway in Bassetlaw is the Chesterfield Canal, which was completed in 1777 and ran from the Trent at West Stockwith, through towns such as Worksop and Retford and on to Chesterfield itself just over the border in Derbyshire.

Like the Trent, the Chesterfield Canal played an important part in the economic and industrial history of Bassetlaw.