Stourbridge Canal

Whitehouse Glassworks

The Stourbridge Canal looking towards lock 13 on the “Stourbridge 16” flight. The canal, opened throughout in 1779, ran from Stourton Junction on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal through to Black Delph, the start of the Dudley Canal.

The building to the left of the image is what remains of Stuart Crystal’s White House glassworks, this building once continued beyond the lock. Opposite the White House on the towpath side, the brick wall was once the boundary of Richardson’s Wordsley Flint Glassworks which has since gone to be replaced with light industrial works, at least still providing some employment for the area.

Farmers Bridge Flight.

Farmers Bridge locks 2

 

 

Most of the farmers Bridge flight of locks on the Birmingham and Fazley canal are hidden from view by high walls, old factories and, in this images case, a refurbished multi-storied apartment block, which used to be part of the British Telecom offices,  adjacent to Newhall Street.

The Farmers Bridge flight drops the Birmingham and Fazley canal down approximately 25 metres (82 feet) from the BCN at “Old Turn” , which is situated  just to the south of King Edwards Road bridge, to Old Snow Hill Rd. by 13 locks.

The last lock in the flight into Birmingham opens into Cambrian Basin; this was at one time the Newhall Branch which carried the canal almost parallel to the Birmingham and Fazley as far as Newhall Street. All that is left is the basin itself, a popular mooring spot today.

Farmers Bridge Locks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gas Street Basin

Gas Street Basin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking towards the communication lock which leads the Birmingham Canal through to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The buildings on the right front on to Gas Street

Until 1815, when the new lock was constructed, this was a physical barrier called Worcester Bar, this is still in place and runs from the base of the new bridge to the bank adjacent to the James Brindley Pub. Loaded boats from both canals had to off load their cargo and transfer it to other boats by hand, a situation which exasperated all concerned.

The bridge was built with the advent of redevelopment in the Gas Street area, prior to that there was a plank which was swung to one side when boats passed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canal Lifeblood

BCN Main Line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Birmingham Main Line looking towards Wolverhampton. The image was taken less than 200 yds. from the new developments at Oozell Street Loop, the cut off being St. Vincent Street Bridge, which is situated just behind the photographer.

The bridge over the towpath, since blocked off, would have led to a basin serving the factories, there are many such bridges throughout the Birmingham canal system some are still open.

 

Under St. Vincents

Under St Vincents Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image was taken from under St. Vincent bridge which takes St. Vincent Street over the Birmingham Canal Main Line in the Ladywood area of the city.

The view looks towards the new development of apartments that were constructed around the Oozells Street Loop and shows the new bridge built off the original abutments, in place since the straightening of the main line in 1827 by Thomas Telford.

 

Braunston Turn

Braunston Turn

The construction of the two Horseley ironworks bridges at Braunston Junction came about when the Oxford Canal Company, realising that their northern section was far too circuitous to compete with other newer, more direct canal routes, straightened their line from Hawksbury to the abandoned village of Wolfhampcote near Braunston.

The new route was nearly 15 miles shorter than the old line and encompassed many changes, one being the moving of the junction between the Oxford Canal and the then named Grand Junction Canal, the original is now part of Braunston Marina some 600 yards south of the bridges.

This view is looking south from the Northern Oxford Canal with, what is now the Grand Union Canal passing under the Bridges to the right.

 

Into the Light.

Into the Light

Lapworth Street Bridge which takes the Old Warwick Road, B4439, over the Stratford upon Avon Canal just south of Hockley Heath. The canal terminated at Hockley Heath in May of 1796 due to lack of funds and another act of parliament was needed to raise enough to continue building, which restarted in 1799.

Bridges

Bridges

Birmingham boasts not just many miles of canals but many types of bridge. Pictured here are four old and new bridges looking towards Farmers bridge on the Birmingham Main Line. The bridge on the right crosses the Oozell Street Loop which was part of the original Birmingham Main Line surveyed by James Brindley.

 

Bridge 152

Cropredy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge 152 on the Oxford Canal at Cropredy under which one enters Cropredy lock.

The bridge itself is positioned just north of the village wharf, which is still in evidence with the Wharf House adjacent.

About 50yards south is the site of the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, this English civil war battle was fought on June 29th 1644 between the Parliamentarian forces and the Royalist forces.