Birmingham Canal - Birmingham Canal Navigations

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright February 2011, John M; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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Birmingham Main Line Canal

The Birmingham Main Line Canal opened between Gas Street Basin and the Staffs & Worcs Canal at Aldersley Junction in 1772. The Engineer was James Brindley. A straighter 'New Main Line' was completed in 1838 to the design of Thomas Telford. This left a number of arms and loops.

Aldersley Junction to Broad Street Basin, Wolverhampton


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
A flight of 21 locks raises the canal from the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal 132 feet to the 'Wolverhampton Level'. The 'Wolverhampton Level' provided lock free navigation to a large area of the Black Country by the use of 'contour' canals.









SJ9001 : Aldersley Canal Junction, Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SJ9000 : Lock 19 and Dunstall Park Bridge by Richard Law SJ9000 : New Footbridge by Gordon Griffiths
SJ9000 : Birmingham Canal - Wolverhampton Lock 17 by John M SJ9100 : Viaduct across Canal, Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SJ9100 : Lock No 16 & Dunstall Viaduct by Row17

Apart from the Council Incinerator which occupies the former refuse and night-soil disposal site there is no sign of the foundries and works that hugged the canal banks. The gas works, Springfield Brewery and GWR Railway workshops were later neighbours.
SJ9100 : Dunstall Viaduct by John M SJ9100 : Gorsebrook Bridge by John M SJ9100 : Birmingham Canal by Roger Dean SJ9100 : Birmingham Canal - Stour Valley Viaduct by John M SJ9100 : Birmingham Canal - GWR Railway Bridge by John M
SJ9100 : Birmingham Canal - Former GWR railway bridge by John M SJ9100 : Lock 11 and GWR bridge by John M SJ9100 : Birmingham Canal - Wolverhampton Lock 10 and Fox's Lane Bridge by John M SO9199 : Birmingham Canal - Jordan's Bridge by John M SO9199 : Birmingham Canal - Wolverhampton Lock 8 by John M
SO9199 : Birmingham Canal by John M SO9199 : Birmingham Canal - Cannock Road Bridge by John M SO9199 : Wolverhampton Locks No 5 by Roger  Kidd SO9199 : Train and Lock by Gordon Griffiths SO9199 : Littles Lane Bridge by Gordon Griffiths
SO9199 : Wolverhampton Locks No 2 by Roger  Kidd SO9198 : Canal View by Gordon Griffiths SO9199 : Birmingham Canal Navigations in Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SO9199 : Wolverhampton Top Lock and BCN  Cottages by Roger  Kidd

Broad Street Basin to Horseley Fields Junction



1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The Broad Street Depot for the Canal carriers, 'Fellows, Morton & Clayton' linked with the new railway station. Albion Mill and steam powered flour mills on Corn Hill exploited the new transport link.

The first canal junction at Horseley Fields connects to the Wyrley & Essington Canal (Curly Wyrley). Completed in 1795 this winds north into the the 'Black Country Coalfield' serving Wednesfield, Essington, Aldridge, Brownhills and Pelsall. The canal transformed these communities allowing raw materials (coal, limestone and clay) and manufactured goods (locks, traps, bricks and tiles) to be transported cheaply.








SO9198 : Birmingham Canal - Broad Street Canal Bridge by John M SO9198 : Broad Street Canal Depot, Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SO9198 : Wharf at Broad Street Canal Depot, Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SO9198 : Birmingham Canal - Broad Street Warehouse by John M SO9198 : Broad Street Depot by Gordon Griffiths
SO9198 : Birmingham Canal, Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SO9198 : Bridge or Tunnel by Gordon Griffiths SO9198 : Station Car Park by Gordon Griffiths SO9298 : Albion Mill and Birmingham Canal by John M SO9298 : City Canal by Gordon Griffiths
SO9298 : Flock of geese on the Birmingham Canal by John M SO9298 : Horseley Junction Bridge by John M SO9298 : Birmingham Canal by John M SO9298 : Horseley Fields Canal Junction Signpost by Phil Clayton

Horseley Fields Junction to Bradley Canal Junction


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
Industry and derelict industry characterises the canal leaving Wolverhampton towards Bilston on Brindley's Main Line. Some retail development has crept in along the Bilston Road.

SO9298 : Horseleyfields Bridge by John M SO9298 : Canal Geese by Gordon Griffiths SO9298 : Walsall Street Bridge by John M
SO9298 : Wolverhampton - disused canal wharf by Dave Bevis SO9298 : Wolverhampton, roving bridge by Mike Faherty SO9297 : Bilston Road Bridge - Birmingham Main Line Canal by John M


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The Monmore Green area had steel rolling mills and tubeworks and has industrial fabrication works.

SO9297 : Nearing Cable Street bridge by Row17 SO9297 : Dixon Street Bridge by Gordon Griffiths
SO9297 : Rough Hills Bridge by Gordon Griffiths SO9396 : Birmingham Mainline Canal by John M



1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The canal passes through the former 'Black Country' coalfields. Until the 1980s British Steel (successor to Stewarts and Lloyds) had a major steelworks with two blast furnaces beside the canal. There were numerous foundries and other iron works all with their wharves and branches. These have all disappeared to be replaced by housing, warehousing and retail developments.





SO9396 : Jibbet Lane Bridge by Gordon Griffiths SO9396 : Birmingham & Wolverhampton Canal by John M SO9396 : Canal Side Living by Gordon Griffiths
SO9395 : Birmingham Main Line Canal - Spring Vale Rail Bridge by John M SO9395 : Birmingham Main Line Canal - Old railway bridge by John M SO9395 : Canal and Factories, near Spring Vale, Wolverhampton by Roger  Kidd SO9395 : Birmingham Main Line Canal - Black Country Route Bridge by John M SO9395 : Towpath Bridge by Gordon Griffiths

Brindley's original canal branches off at Deepfields and remains in part as the Bradley Arm terminating at the British Waterways workshops.

KML

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