UK Mining Walks & Visits Log

Midlands Coal Mining Walks

Journals of mining walks

    Mansfield & Pinxton Railway Walk1 May 2012
  A Brief Description

Distance = approx 12km
Route = Paths, tracks and minor roads, some level crossings
Start / End = Sutton Parkway train station (SK506577)
Weather = Cloudy, drizzle

This is walk 1 of 3 planned to investigate the route of the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway along with some surrounding features. Since its construction 1817-1819 the parts of the line have been updated, hence some sections are still in use as the Robin Hood Line between Mansfield and Kirkby and the line from Pye Bridge to Kirkby is also still active. This walk covers the section between Mansfield and Sutton Parkway station. This is a walk which is shown to be starting at Sutton Parkway, however I myself did not start this route from there.

From the train station my first view was from the road bridge over the main line where a good view of the line heading north is seen (see photo). After this I took a short detour heading south along Lowmoor Road, after a few hundred metres and on west (right) side of the pavement I found the remains of the top section of a tramway bridge (SK 50665 57495) which went to an old sand quarry - now lost under the industrial estate. After making some quick estimates on the size of the bridge (10m long from pier to pier and central section approx 4m wide) I headed back past the train station to a footpath on the left accessed through the industrial estate. The path leads across the railway (see photos) (SK506579) and taking care I crossed the line and then follow the path along the upper reaches of the river Maun. After a short while a took the next path back across the railway (SK506580) and pass the houses on to Kirkby Folly Road. Turning north along the road took me towards the level crossing on Station Road (SK510584), after taking some photos I heading east along Station / Newark Road and took the road on the left pass the old Sheepbridge Works (see photos) (SK513586) and eventually reaching Coxmoor Road via a gated access.

Turning left along the road I crossed over the railway (SK513588) and headed towards the A38, however just before reaching this I turned right along the Maun Valley Way and headed towards Kingsmill Reservoir. The reservoir is a nice walk and as a circular path, there is also a boating club, adevnture base and cafe. I decided to turn right and go anti-clockwise around the edge of the reservoir. Just prior to reaching the reservoir overflow (SK519597) and Portland Viaduct is where the route of the old railway came alongside the path to the viaduct (built in 1817) (see photos). From here I took the track east to cross the later line (SK519596), I followed the path through the business park to Hamilton Way (SK527595). I turned left along the road and after a few hundred metres I got a good view of Hermitage Mill - I would be going there along the walk later.

The road reached the junction with Sheepbridge Lane where I noticed the stone built building which is probably Little Matlock Mill; for some reason I forgot to take a photo. However, looking northwest (left) along Sheepbridge lane are two bridges (see photo) (SK528600). The footbridge is the earlier route of the railway. I took the steps up the side of the footpath to reach the top and heading northeast towards the later line, the junction of the line to Southwell and the site of the engine sheds. Following the edge of the railway I came to a footbridge (SK531602) over the line, I went to the top and took some photos looking both ways (see photos). I then went back down and headed back to the bridge over Sheepbridge Lane, after crossing the road I came to the lane (SK528600) going to the site of Bleak Hill sidings - there may have been a bridge over this lane. On the otheside of this lane the line of the sidings appears to run parallel to the old route of the railway. I followed the path which runs along this line for a short distance then turns and heads down to the river Maun. Where the path joins the river is the start point for some old mill ponds. I turned right (west) along the river and on reaching the Hermitage Lane the Old Hermitage Mill (SK524599) comes in to view. I took a view photos of the mill and turned right to where the railway crosses the lane; this is also where the later line crossed over the original line. After having a look to see if there was any evidence of an earlier bridge or slightly different crossing point I took the footpath west along the route of the original line; the path here is lined with some interesting looking stones on one side (see photos).

Following the path I soon reached Kings Lodge Drive which loosely follows the route of the original line, from this road it is possible to get down to Hermitage Pond and the later railway viaduct; however I decided to continue along the path to Portland Viaduct (see photos). I crossed over the viaduct to the reservoir and took a path which heads down to below the viaduct. From here I took some photos of the date stone (M&P 1817) in the centre arch and the sluice outlet for the reservoir (the reservoir post dates the viaduct). The is also a notice board by the pond giving some details about Hermitage Ponds etc. After taking these photos I headed back up to the reservoir and continued along the path around it and back along the Maun Valley Trail; after getting back to Coxmoor Road the trail follows a short section of the LNER line to Clipstone, the bridge (SK508589) is viewed by taking the path along the A38. At the end of the short section the path went back down the embankment and I turned right to go under the A38 to Sutton Lawn. I then followed the path past the site of the old mill buildings (SK506589) (the notice board has gone), some of which have been converted to homes. Following the paths through Sutton Lawn I got to Station Road where there is part of the railway bridge opposite the main entrance. Following Station Road then Oddicroft Lane brings you to the train station

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    Mansfield & Pinxton Railway Walk2 May 2012
  A Brief Description

Distance = approx 15km
Route = Field paths, tracks and minor roads
Start / End = Sutton Parkway Train Station (SK506577)
Weather = Cloudy, sunny intervals

This is walk 2 of 3 planned to investigate the route of the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway along with some surrounding features. Since it's construction 1817-1819 the parts of the line have been updated, hence some sections are still in use as the Robin Hood Line between Mansfield and Kirkby and the line from Pye Bridge to Kirkby is also still active. This walk covers the section between Kirkby and Portland No1 Colliery. This is a walk which is shown to be starting at Sutton Parkway, however I myself did not start this route from there.

It was a good day for walking; sunny but not too warm. Heading west along Penny Emma Way I soon reached the point at where the LNER line crosses the road and went between both parts of Kirkby Colliery spoil heaps. I took the path along the old railway heading south, the line here is marked with some interesting features and a good section of track is still in-situ. Towards the southern end of the line the path became a little muddy before climbing the steps up to Southwell Lane. Turning left along Southwell Lane (SK502568) gave a good view of the Robin Hood line, the spoil mounds and part of Kirkby Summit Colliery (SK503568 Continuing eastward along Southwell Lane I reached the winding wheel memorial and new plaque for Kirkby Colliery, on the other side of Welshcroft Close are the remains of some old pit buildings including the baths. North of here along Lowmoor Road at Wosley Drive (SK506571) is another memorial (see photo) for the colliery; however for this walk I would not be going that way. Alongside the edge of the old colliery site and the lane on the otherside of Southwell Lane (SK504568) is the route of the Mansfield-Pinxton Railway (see photos). From here I headed south along Lowmoor Road towards Kirkby Town Centre and made my way to Ashfield District Council offices on Urban Road (SK502561). The route of the MP Railway originally came along the west side of the offices and along the lane opposite (see photos). The site of an old wharf (from Sandersons Map) was roughly located where the council offices are today. After taking some photos I headed back along Urban Road and then down Lime Street from where a path goes through the woods to cross the route of the MP line (SK500557) and then to the footbirdges over the Robin Hood Line and the line to Pye Bridge (SK499558.

The area between here and Portland Works has had a number of railways and branchlines going through a smallish area; hence tracing the route of the original MP railway in some parts is a little uncertain - however I think the Portland Area Map (see link) is correct. From the two footbirdges I got some good views of the network of railways and after taking some photos I continued along the footpath south. Walking along this path I soon came to a shallow cutting (SK498555) which goes under the modern Robin Hood Line above. The cutting is the route of the GCR link to the Nottingham-Mansfield Railway, the line of the MP Railway also went through at around the same point but I could not see any evidence (area overgrown) for the route at this point; however there is likely to be a bridge of the modern line over the MP Railway (probably filled in). After having a good look around the area and along the cutting I continued the walk, I soon came to the point where the GCR line crossed over the MP line (SK498553), this is also the same point at where the later alteration of MP Railway left the old line. The original route of the MP Railway at this point follows the footpath (no remains found) (see photos) through the woods then turned west and crossed the later route of the MP line (SK496552) (see photos). The path on the west side of the railway follows the line of the mineral railway to Bentinck, the original route of the MP railway does not follow this route but I could trace it as an embankment along the hedge line to the northwest. The original route could then be seen crossing the Bentinck branch (SK494551) and heading along the hedge line where it meets the later alteration (SK494550 (see photos).

Following part of the path along the Bentinck branch I noticed a few features; most noticeable the old bridge (SK493551) (see photos). From here I made my way to where this line crosses over Mill Lane (note the road is fairly unsafe to walk along) (SK490550) and the bridge still exists (see photos). From here I carefully made my way along the path to Park Lane where I took a short detour along the road (this road is also dangerous in parts) to the level crossing of the MP railway (SK483545) and the branch line (lane) to Portland No1 Colliery. By side of the railway are some old builidngs relating to either the old sidings or the former opencast. I took a few photos and made my way carefully back along Park Lane to take the footpath alongside the river Erewash and after about 10 minutes I took the path heading south across the river to have a quick look at the remains of Portland No1 Colliery (SK479548), the route of the Portland branch and also part of the MP Railway (SK478547) (see photos). From Portland Colliery I took the path back northwards pass Meadow Farm where the lane goes under three railway bridges (SK480551) and to Bentinck Town. I decided to take the path which goes via the GCR Derbyshire line to Castle Hill (SK490558) and the earthwork remains of old Manor House (see photos). Following the road north from St Wilfrids Church through Old Kirkby (see photos) I soon came to the site of Kirkby Cross (moved from it's original position). To get back to Sutton Parkway I took the path through Kirkby and alongside the pit spoil heap back to Penny Emma Way which lead to the railway station.

A good walk with plenty of old railways

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