2014

SO9491 : Castle Mill basin, Dudley Canal

taken 10 years ago, near to Tipton, Sandwell, England

Castle Mill basin, Dudley Canal
Castle Mill basin, Dudley Canal
Castle Mill basin is a former underground limestone mine cavern which was widened to enable canal boats to turn about 90 degrees from the Dudley tunnel (south) to the much shorter Tipton tunnel (east) effectively "inside" Castle Hill. The portal to the right is the Dudley tunnel, which was opened in 1791 and leads to Parkhead nearly 3km to the south of here. There are several canal branches inside Castle Hill which used to serve limestone mines in the past. Some of these are still accessible, but some can no longer be navigated due to rock falls. For this reason a new connecting tunnel was built (the portal on the left) in 1989 to enable boats of the Dudley Canal Trust to run circular boat tours of the mines.

Castle Hill and nearby Wren's Nest are anticlines of Silurian limestone layers protruding from the surrounding Carboniferous coal beds. Both the limestone and the coal were quarried from the beginning of the industrial revolution and used in the iron smelting industry of the West Midlands of England. Mining finally ceased in 1920.

The Dudley canal was completed in 1791, running in a tunnel under Castle Hill for nearly 3km in a SSW direction. Several branch canals were built around the same time to access the limestone seams in the Castle Hill anticline, which run roughly SSE. In addition, there is a westerly branch leading to Wren's Nest. Multiple caverns have been excavated inside Castle Hill, some of which up to 800m in length. Many of the caverns have had roof collapses and rock falls and have since been backfilled. However, some are still accessible by boat through the original tunnels and a few new link tunnels built in the 1980s to enable the Dudley Canal Trust to run circular tours for visitors to see the mines. A schematic map of the canal system is shown on the Trust's website Archive LinkExternal link (archive link).

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Rudi Winter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Basin [23] · Canal Trust Boat [15] · Branch Tunnel [9] Title Clusters: · Castle Mill basin, Dudley Canal [2] ·
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SO9491, 686 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Photographer
Rudi Winter   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Sunday, 8 June, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 17 August, 2014
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 9454 9159 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:31.3296N 2:4.9140W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 9454 9161
View Direction
SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
Clickable map
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SW S SE
Image classification(about): Geograph
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