The Wyrley and Essington Canal

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Warning! - The following access details were correct at the time of my walk - but may have now changed.

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Virtual Walks-1 From Anglesey Basin at Chasewater to Ogley Junction (or Anglesey Junction) (July 2000)
Anglesey Branch Canal - 1850
Visit the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust web site to find out about the Trust that was formed in 1988 and is a registered charity. It campaigns for the restoration of the "Lichfield Canal" (as the closed section of the W&E between Ogley and Huddlesford is now called) and also the Hatherton Canal through the Cannock / A5 area. It promotes the restoration as public amenities for boating, angling, walking, cycling etc. and raises funds to carry out physical restoration work.
The Cannock Chase Reservoir (later known as Norton Pool and now called Chasewater) was opened in 1799 and feeds water to the whole of the current Wyrley and Essington Canal, and beyond.

Main access to Chasewater from Pool Road (off A5 Watling Street).

 
A020 - the dam of Chasewater

Looking along the dam on the reservoir side while it was drained for major repair work.

This photo taken looking north - 3/9/2011.
------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

Looking along the dam on the canal side while the Reservoir was drained for major repair work.

This photo taken looking north - 3/9/2011.
------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

A020 - the overflow through the dam from Chasewater Reservoir

The old structure - before the rebuilding of 2009/2012.

Chasewater reservoir full and overflowing through the dam culverts (in the background) into the “nine-foot pool” and then over the lip into the main overflow pound

Photo taken looking Southwest.

Access to the south end of the dam via Pool Road (off A5 Watling Street).
Access to the north end of the dam via Pool Road (off the A5195 bypass).
NOTE - that the two parts of Pool Road have no vehicular connection.

The new structure - after the rebuilding of 2009/2012.

This photo taken looking south-west - 31/3/2016.
------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

A040 - the main overflow pound from Chasewater Reservoir

In the background - Chasewater reservoir is full and overflowing through the dam culverts into the “nine-foot pool” and then over the lip into the main overflow pound.

In the foreground at the far end of the main overflow pound water is running to the right below the lowest point of the fence and plummeting into the modern storm drain system.

In the past overflowing water would run via the original spillway that would have run down to the canal below – but only if the overflow pound was full to the brim. (see A060 below.......)

The current system takes the overflow under the canal and eventually outflows into the Crane Brook.

This photo taken looking west - 31/3/2016.
------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

Looking back to the dam of Chasewater or Norton Pool as it was previously known.

Taken looking back West.

Access from Pool Road (off A5 Watling Street).
As at April 2015 the narrow access to towpath is now three feet wide as the obstructing post has been cut off at ground level.

Taken looking SouthEast.

Access from Pool Road (off A5 Watling Street).
As at April 2015 the narrow access to towpath is now three feet wide as the obstructing post has been cut off at ground level.

A060 - Overflow from Chasewater into canal.

Taken looking South.

Access along canal.

Bases of the two overhead coal-loading gantries.

Taken from opposite overflow looking East.

Access along canal.

Coal loading shutes from the path of the now removed colliery railway.

Taken looking South toward Wharf Lane.

Access from Wharf Lane may no longer be possible.

Burntwood Road Bridge (under Whitehorse Road) - Soon to be drastically altered by the BNRR (Birmingham North Relief Road). The new motorway toll road has now been officially named M6(Toll). The BNRR has caused the closure of the road link between Brownhills (Whitehorse Road) and Burntwood (Wharf Lane). The canal and towpath will remain.

Taken looking South.

NO access from Wharf Lane. Foot access to Whitehorse Road from the towpath after passing under the bridge.

Burntwood Road Bridge (under Whitehorse Road)

Taken looking back North.

NO access from Wharf Lane. Foot access to Whitehorse Road via the top right of this picture.

Freeth Bridge (under Watling Street) - This is the modern addition to carry the widened road of the early 1970s.

Taken looking South.

Access from The Watling Street (A5)

Freeth Bridge 1849 (under Watling Street) - The original part of the bridge. Named after the canal engineer, Mr. John Freeth (Clerk to the Birmingham Canal Navigation Co.), who was responsible for the building of the bridge when the Angelsey Branch was cut.

Taken looking back North.

Access from Watling Street (A5)

Aquaduct over railway.
Middleton Railway Aqueduct crossing the L&NWR South Staffordshire Line (now closed).

Left - Looking north-east with the A5 Watling Street bridge in the distance.

Right - Taken looking SouthWest from Newtown Bridge (A5).

Access along canal (via Chase Road or The Watling Street).

Photo on the left taken August 1984
------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

Aquaduct over railway.
Middleton Railway Aqueduct crossing the L&NWR South Staffordshire Line (now closed).

Left - Taken looking back West toward aquaduct from under Middleton Bridge.

Left - Taken looking East (toward Middleton Bridge).

Access along canal (via Chase Road or The Watling Street).

A150 - Middleton Bridge (under Chase Road) - The bridge was named after William Middleton, a landowner and farmer of the area.

Access from Chase Road.

Horse power on the canals. One of the few signs of the importance of horses in the past is the marks on some bridges over canals. The tow ropes passing rubbing against corners thousands upon thousands of times cut into the edges.

Here are the height (in inches) of the marks above tow path level. Some heights more used than others cut deeper. Add 10 inches for the height of the tow path above water level.

West end

24 deep cut/26/30/32/33/34 deep cut/35/37 deep cut/38 deep cut/40 deep cut/41 deep cut/43/45

East end

21/23/26/28 deep cut/30 deep cut/33 deep cut/34 deep cut/35 deep cut/36 deep cut/37 deep cut/38 very deep cut/39/41 very deep cut

As the bridge abutment curves in has this kept the cuts from going higher? I will have to measure a straight sided bridge to have an opinion on that ……..

These photos taken 25/7/2016 - west end on the left & east end on the right.
------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

Middleton Bridge (under Chase Road).

Taken looking East.

Access from Chase Road at the other side of the bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo on the right taken 25/7/2016 ------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Anglesey Branch Canal )

Anglesey Bridge (signed 1850) - (under Lichfield Road).

The poplar trees beyond the bridge mark the site of "The Chemical", a landmark up to the demolition of its tall brick chimney in 1987. Brownhills Chemical Works was opened in 1870, taking advantage of the canal to bring materials from the gasworks at the other side of Brownhills. From the Second World War aluminium alloys were smelted at the site. As "Super Alloys" scrap Gloster Meteor and Javelin aircraft where stacked at the works, awaiting recycling.

Taken looking back North from Ogley Junction (or Anglesey Junction).

Access from Lichfield Road.

 

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V2.3 - 6 August 2016 ---- recommended resolution (1366 x 768)

David Hodgkinson 2000-2016. All rights reserved.