Waterways of the Trent

Ref: C2346772

The mighty River Trent has been a key routeway in the English Midlands for millennia and this course, of three classroom sessions and a visit, will examine the evidence of the water-based transport along the river, tributaries and connecting artificial waterways. We will draw on documentary evidence as well as the surviving artifacts and civil engineering remains to build a picture of how our ancestors travelled and carried goods along this important valley. Please note that the field visit on the 16th March (2nd session) will require you to make your own way to the site at Shardlow. The site visit will enable us to examine first hand the evidence of earlier use.

Course aim

We will examine the evidence (both documentary and physical) of waterway use for transport in the Trent Valley.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • describe the evidence of prehistoric use of the river Trent as a transport route.
  • explain the role that the river played in early warfare
  • describe commercial use of the Trent for carriage of goods up to the 18th Century
  • outline the development of canals and navigations to enhance the water transport network in the Trent Valley
  • describe the current condition of waterways in the valley and their present-day use

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Note book and pencil will be helpful and for field trips there will be the option to take photographs. Please note that there is a field visit which will require you to make your own way to the site at Shardlow.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Waterways of the Trent

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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