Kidsgrove or Kidcrew, is a considerable village on the Manchester Road, 3 miles north, north west of Burslem, and partly in the townships of Brerehurst, Oldcott, and Ranscliff; but mostly in the latter. Its inhabitants are chiefly employed in the neighbouring collieries, worked by T Kinnersley, Esq., and James Sutton and Co. A short distance west of the village, is the northern termination of the Harecastle Tunnels, which conduct the Trent & Mersey Canal a distance of one mile and three quarters under a lofty hill extending nearly to the borders of Cheshire. The old tunnel is 12 feet high, and 9 broad, and at the depth of from 70 to 80 yards below the summit of the hill. The new tunnel runs parallel with the old one, but is of larger dimensions, and has a towing path with a strong guard rail along the waterside. It is said to have cost 103,680 guineas, or a guinea per inch, and was constructed by the spirited canal company for the purpose of avoiding the great delay which was occasioned by boats having frequently to wait at one end of the old tunnel while others passed through from the opposite end. From the centre of this tunnel, a small canal penetrates into the workings of an extensive coal mine.
Extract from Whites 1834
Photograph Copyright David Martin – The Phoenix Trust 2011