Thursday 23 November 2023

Wednesbury Old Canal

The Wednesbury Old Canal is part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations. Despite being a fairly short canal (just over seven kilometres) it performs an important job in that it links the Walsall and Birmingham Main Line Canals. The canal was opened as part of the original Birmingham Canal in 1769. Later canal building (or rather re-building) replaced part of its stretch especially where it needed to meet the Birmingham New Main Line.

Like the majority of the canal network, the Wednesbury Old Canal went into decline in the 20th century and was considered abandoned in the 1950s. However, parts of the canal are still available for navigation and others are on the whole still watered.

The Ridgacre Branch and the canal from Swan Bridge Junction to the original termination point at Balls Hill Basin are no longer accessible to boats due to a new road bridge which left insufficient headroom for boats.

The canal is still navigable for over a mile between Pudding Green and Ryder's Green Junctions (and a little beyond the latter).