The Ashby Canal is part of the Waterways of Mainland Britain and is made up of the Ashby Canal (Main Line), the Ashby Canal (restored but unconnected), the Ashby Canal (unrestored) and the Ashby Canal (Measham Wharf Branch, unrestored).
Relevant publications — Waterway Maps:
- Waterway Routes 01M - England and Wales Map
- Waterway Routes 47M - Ashby Canal Map (Downloadable)
- Warwickshire Ring & Ashby Canal
Relevant publications — Waterway Guides:
- Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides No 3 - Birmingham & the Heart of England
- Pearsons Canal Companion: South Midlands and Warwickshire Ring & Ashby and Connecting Canals
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Wikipedia has a page about Ashby Canal
The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal is a 31-mile (50 km) long canal in England which connected the mining district around Moira, just outside the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, with the Coventry Canal at Bedworth in Warwickshire. It was opened in 1804, and a number of tramways were constructed at its northern end, to service collieries. The canal was taken over by the Midland Railway in 1846, but remained profitable until the 1890s, after which it steadily declined. Around 9 miles (14 km) passed through the Leicestershire coal field, and was heavily affected by subsidence, with the result that this section from Moira, southwards to Snarestone, was progressively closed in 1944, 1957 and 1966, leaving 22 miles (35 km) of navigable canal.
The abandoned section is the subject of a restoration project and is the first canal where a new section has been authorised under the Transport and Works Act 1992. The Transport and Works Order was obtained by Leicestershire County Council, as some of the original route has been infilled and built over, and restoration therefore involves construction on a new route through the centre of Measham. It is hoped that all but the final 1-mile (1.6 km) section of the canal can be re-opened. An isolated section near Moira Furnace and the National Forest visitor centre was opened between 1999 and 2005, and is the location for an annual trailboat festival.