Haw Park Bridge and Stoneheaps Plantation
Lane & Stoneheaps Plantation to Clay Royd Bridge). Occasionally, the bridge is incorrectly referred to in print as New Park Bridge.
Haw Park Bridge is about 5.5 km from the River Calder. It carries Sike Lane over the canal at Stoneheaps Cutting. After leaving the Stoneheaps Cutting, the canal runs through pleasant farmland scenery towards Haw Park Woods. A very attractive and usually tranquil part of the Trans Pennine Trail. In the mid-20th century, this bridge was also apparently known locally as "Jones' Bridge".
The Stoneheaps Cutting was one of the more costly parts of the canal, dynamite had to be used to blast a way through the rock.
During the construction of the canal, a barracks to house the navvies was built on the bank above the cutting at Stoneheaps Plantation.
Navvy: Short for navigators, the men who dug the first inland navigations or canals. They lasted from the 1760s to the 1940s as a distinct and separate underclass of people with their own way of life and mode of dress. Essentially they were skilled at moving earth and rock by hand. Originally called navigators, excavators, bankers, diggers. Occasionally also known as pinchers (1850s), thick legs, blue stockings (1870s), bill boys tradesmen and excavators (1890s). The word is still in use in Britain but with a changed meaning, it is now often used to refer to a labourer, usually Irish. This confusion has led some people into thinking that all navvies were Irish. They were not, most were English. (Extract based on 'A Navvy's Glossary' by Dick Sullivan Victorian Web).
Canal craft: The term 'billy boy' refers to a flat-bottomed vessel with a full broad bow ('bluff-bowed'), rigged as a sloop, with a mast that can be lowered to enable the boat to pass under bridges.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge.