Cromford Canal opened in the 1790s. It was a vital transport connection from the mills and industrial villages to the rest of the country. Although it followed the river valley, it was challenging terrain for the canal engineers. Wigwell aqueduct is one of three between Cromford and Langley Mill. Boats also had to navigate 14 locks and four tunnels in the 14 miles.
William Jessop was the engineer responsible for the aqueducts. His reputation was put at stake when the aqueducts here and at Bullbridge developed cracks. He put the fault down to the lime mortar not setting properly and funded repairs to both out of his own pocket.
The determination of the investors were rewarded (and Jessop’s reputation presumably restored) as the canal became a huge success.
Would you have the courage to invest your money against the odds? Would you dare owning up to such a mistake?