Canals to Pensnett

Canals That Never Were: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2006

Richard Dean

From 1820 the Stourbridge Canal Company investigated extensions into the Pensnett area, which was gradually being opened up to industry by Lord Dudley and his lessees, but in 1827 their fairly modest proposal for level branches from A to B and C on the map was dropped when Lord Dudley went ahead with his private Shutt End Railway to the new Ashwood Basin at D on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Matters rested until 1836, when a new company was formed, the Stourbridge Wolverhampton & Birmingham Junction Canal, to build a more extensive waterway from the Fens Branch of the Stourbridge Canal at E to Oak Farm at F, and through a 2,275-yard tunnel to the Birmingham Canal at G, with a branch to Standhills at H. Engineered by John Rastrick, it involved a long deep cutting east of the tunnel and a flight of 13 locks supplied by backpumping from a reservoir at the bottom. Whilst avoiding the constriction caused by the old Dudley Tunnel, it faced opposition from other canals, …

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