Birmingham and Warwick Canal
The Birmingham and Warwick Canal is in fact two canals. These are:
(1) The original Birmingham and Warwick Canal (red) which connects Budbrooke Junction in Warwick to the Warwick Bar in Eastside. This canal opened in 1799; 4 miles of the 15 mile route run through Birmingham. A flight of six locks (52-57) adjust the level by 11 metres so that the canal can descend from Camp Hill to the Warwick Bar.
(2) The Birmingham and Warwick Junction Branch (purple) which links Bordesley Junction to Salford Junction (next to Spaghetti Junction). This canal opened in 1844; it is roughly 2.25 miles long. A flight of 5 locks (58-62) adjust the level by 21 metres so that the canal can descend from Bordesley Junction to Salford Junction.
Both these canals became part of the Grand Union in the 1930's.
The Grand Union mainline connects the Thames at Brentford in London to the Warwick Bar in Birmingham Eastside; it is 114.5 miles long.
If you were to travel along the Birmingham and Warwick Canal from Stockfield in south-east Birmingham to the Warwick Bar in Birmingham Eastside, you would pass the following landmarks:
The Birmingham and Warwick Canal enters Birmingham at Stockfield and passes under this bridge at Woodcock Lane.
Links: Guide Stockfield
After Woodcock Lane, the canal skirts the southern boundary of Yardley Cemetery and then passes beneath this bridge on Yardley Road.
Links: Guide Stockfield
From Yardley Road, the canal travels under Stockfield Road (A4040) and continues north-westwards, roughly parallel to the A45, through the industrial area of Tyseley, where it passes the former Bakelite Works, the Tyseley Foundry, the Tyseley Destructor and Waste Disposal Works and the modern Waste to Energy Plant.
The canal then continues westwards into Hay Mills, crossing above the River Cole on an aqueduct before passing Hay Mills wharf and travelling under the Leamington-Worcester Railway and into Small Heath.
Links: Hay Mills
At Small Heath, the canal passes the Ackers Adventure Centre by the Leamington-Worcester Railway Viaduct.
The Ackers occupies 70 acres of parkland in the Cole Valley.
Links: Small HeathAckers Website
From Ackers, the canal continues north westwards, alongside the A45 and Leamington-Worcester Railway, past the BSA Arm and vast former site of the BSA Works where firearms, air rifles and motorcycles were once manufactured.
The BSA factory had its own power station and wharf. They are located next to this bridge which carries Golden Hillock Road above the Birmingham and Warwick Canal.
After the BSA Works, the canal crosses under Anderton Road and continues past Corporation Wharf, Montgomery Street Wharf and the old coal sidings before passing beneath Small Heath Bridge and entering Sparkbrook.
At Sparkbrook, the canal passes this wharf by Sampson Road, near the former home of Sampson Lloyd: the founder of Lloyds Bank.
The Sampson Road Wharf is next to the top lock (52) of the Camp Hill Flight (52-57) and near the viaduct that carries the Camp Hill Railway above the canal.
The Camp Hill Flight (52-57) of six locks adjust the level by 11 metres so that the canal can descend from Camp Hill to Bordesley Junction.
The Top Lock (52) is by Sampson Road Wharf, beneath the Camp Hill Viaduct.
After the Camp Hill viaduct, the canal turns sharply northwards and passes under a second viaduct that carries the Leamington-Worcester Railway above the canal.
Locks 53 and 54 are on either side of this second viaduct.
The canal then passes beneath Bordesley Middleway before reaching the Coventry Road. Lock 55 is beneath the Coventry Road bridge.
Lock 56 is between Coventry Road and the next bridge which is on Adderley Street; the bottom lock of the Camp Hill Flight (57) is beneath Adderley Street Bridge.
Links: Guide Bordesley
This junction features a cast-iron elliptical arched roving bridge (circa 1840) with stone-dressed brick abutments.
If you were to head northwards at Bordesley Junction along the Junction Branch Canal, you would pass the following landmarks:
More about the Birmingham and Warwick Branch Canal
The Birmingham and Warwick Junction Branch was completed in 1844. The canal, which runs for 2.25 miles, connects Bordesley Junction and Salford Junction.
Travelling northwards from Bordesley Junction, the canal passes beneath Glover Street, Watery Lane (A4540), St Andrews Street (near Birmingham City FC) and Garrison Lane in quick succession.
It then passes under three railway viaducts: the first carries a linking line between the Birmingham-Peterborough Railway and the West Coast Mainline; the second carries the Birmingham-Peterborough Line; and the third, the West Coast Mainline.
The Garrison Flight of five locks (58-62) adjust the level so that the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal can descend 21 metres from Bordesley Junction to Nechells.
The Garrison Top Lock (58) (by Wheels Park) is tucked away between the first two railway viaducts after Garrison Lane. The second (59), roughly 150 metres further north, lies between a third railway viaduct and Landor Street; the third (60) and fourth (61) are next to the Medina Bakery in Saltley.
The Bottom Lock (62) is by Cranby Street Bridge, roughly 250 metres south of Saltley Viaduct.
Nechells Shallow Lock
After passing beneath Saltley Viaduct, the canal crosses under the A47 and the London-Peterborough Railway (yet again) and then runs on the west side of the A47, past Saltley Gas Towers and beneath Aston Church Road, the Stechford Avoiding Line and Cuckoo Road before arriving at Star City.
It then passes through Nechells Shallow Lock: the junction with the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.
If you were to ignore the junction branch, and continue westwards along the Birmingham and Warwick Canal at Bordesley Junction, you would pass the following landmarks:
From Bordesley Junction, the Birmingham and Warwick Canal runs through Digbeth, roughly parallel to Liverpool Street and Fazeley Street, travelling beneath Great Barr Street and a disused railway viaduct.
It then passes the Bond Company, crosses an aqueduct above the River Rea, continues past the former Warwick Wharf, and the Fellows Morton and Clayton building, before reaching the Warwick Bar at Eastside.
The Warwick Bar is the junction between the Birmingham and Warwick Canal and the Digbeth Branch Canal. The bar prevented water transference between the canals; a stop lock enables barges to pass in either direction.
The Warwick Bar is in a conservation area that contains several buildings of architectural interest. These include the Geest Banana Warehouse, the Bond Warehouse and the Birmingham Proof House.
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