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Waterways of Staffordshire

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Staffordshire

Approaching Long Butts Lift Bridge on the Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal.

Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

From Curdworth (where the canal enters Staffordshire from the West Midlands) to Whittington Brook, where the canal joins the Coventry Canal (Detached Portion) the route is within Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Farmers Bridge, junction with the BCN Main Line, to Whittington Brook, where it joins the detached section of the Coventry Canal.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

The branch is entirely within Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

This 17.5 mile branch runs from Etruria, where it joins the Trent and Mersey main line, to Froghall Basin

History:

Opened in 1779.The section from Hazelhurst to Froghall became un-navigable in 1961and was fully reoppened for navigation in 1974.

Points of Interest:

Before 1841 the Caldon branch had a three lock staircase at Hazelhurst, then the course of the canal was changed so that the main line went under the Leek branch, as it does today, and three new separate locks were built.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Cannock Extension Canal (BCN)

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

Apart from a short section of this canal, from its junction with the Wyrley and Essington Canal to Pelsall Common Bridge, which is in the West Midlands, the whole of the canal is in Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Pelsall Junction on the Wyrley and Essington Canal, north to Norton Canes Docks.

History:

The last BCN canal to be built opened around 1858 to 1863.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Commercial Canal project

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

A proposed barge canal from Cheshire to Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

A proposed barge canal from The Chester Canal at Nantwich to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Burton on Trent.

History:

Promoted in 1795 and 1796 but not authorised or built.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Coventry Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

From a point beyond Alvecote Bridge, No 59, where the canal crosses into Staffordshire from Warwickshire to Fazeley Junction, where it joins the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, the canal is in Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Coventry to the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction, except for a 5.5-mile stretch from Fazeley Junction to Huddlesford Junction which is connected by the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1768, 1786 and 1819 and opened in 1790.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Coventry Canal (Detached Portion)

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

The whole of the detached portion of the Coventry Canal is in Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Fazeley Junction to Whittington Brook

History:

Due to lack of money the Coventry Canal Co. was not able to complete all of its planned canal to Fradley. This part was built by the Trent & Mersey Co, who later transfered it, but the next section by the Birmingham & Fazeley Co, who retained owership.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Leek Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

The branch is entirely within Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

This branch runs 3.25 miles from Hazelhurst Junction, where it joins the Caldon Branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal, to Leek Wharves.

History:

Started around 1797

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

An abandoned Staffordshire canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 4 mile level canal from the Trent & Mersey Canal at Stoke to Newcastle-under-Lyme.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1795 and completed in about 1800, part closed in 1921 and abandoned in 1935.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Junction Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

An abandoned Staffordshire canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 1 mile 1 furlong level canal linking to Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1798, closed in 1864.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Union Main Line

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

From Bridge No 4, where the canal enters the StaffordShire from the West Midlands, to a point between bridges 47 and 48 at Knighton, where it crosses into Shropshire, the canal is in Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 66.5 miles from Autherley Junction, where it joins the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, to Ellesmere Port where it joins the Manchester Ship Canal.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1772, 1793 and 1826. The original canal companies were formed into The Shropshire Union in 1846.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

An abandoned Staffordshire canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 3 mile level private canal from Sir Nigel Gresley's collieries at Aperdale to Newcastle-under-Lyme.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1775, completed about 1776, probably closed in 1857.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

From a point between Caunsall Bridge No 26 and Whittington Bridge No 27, where the canal crosses into the Staffordshire from Worcestershire, to a point between Mops Farm Bridge No 54 and Wightwick Bridge No 57, where the canal crosses into the West Midlands, the canal is in Staffordshire.

From Coven Heath Bridge No 69, where the canal crosses into Staffordshire from the West Midlands, to the end of the canal at Great Haywood Junction, where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal, the canal is in Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 46 miles, from Great Haywood, where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal, to Stourport, where it joins the River Severn

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1766 and 1790

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Stourbridge Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

From the start of the canal at Stourton Junction, where it connects with the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, to a short way before Wordsley Junction, where it crosses into the West Midlands, the canal is in Staffordshire.

Waterway Description:

The main line runs 5 miles from Stourton Junction, where it joins the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, to Black Delph, where it joins the BCN Dudley Canal Line No 1. There are also two branches

History:

Promoted by an Act of 1776 and opened in 1779. The IWA Midlands Branch attempt a "canal busting" cruise through the neglected canal in 1959 and in 1962 the IWA National Rally was held at Stourbridge to draw attention to the poor state of the canal. In July 1964 an agreement was reached between the British Waterways Board and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society to restore the sixteen locks using voluntary labour. The Official reopening was on 27 May 1967.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Trent and Mersey Canal

Waterway's place in Staffordshire :

From the River Dove Aqueduct, just before Clay Mills Bridge No 28, where the canal enters Staffordshire from Derbyshire the canal runs through about 40 miles through Staffordshire to a point near Red Bull Lock No 42 and the Poole Aqueduct, where it enters Cheshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 93 miles from Derwent Mouth, where it joins the River Trent, to Preston Brook, where it joins a branch of the Bridgewater Canal

History:

Originally known as the Grand Trunk Canal. Promoted by Acts of 1766, 1770, 1775, 1776, 1783, 1797 (two Acts), 1802, 1809 and 1827

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Staffordshire Waterways

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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