The Wyrley and Essington Canal

Virtual Walks Too far away to visit? Don't want to go out today? I've done it for you.

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

Another Warning! - Although renovation is taking place, this route has been long derelict. Remember that this route should not be thought of as a public right of way.
Most importantly,
note that breaking a leg in the middle of nowhere is hazardous to health.

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Virtual Walks -5 From Ogley Junction (or Anglesey Junction) to Huddlesford Junction
Wyrley and Essington Canal
The BCNS sign pointing towards Huddlesford reads "(being) restored by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust"

The word "being" is on a separate plate that can be removed when the line is reopened ! This shows the confidence that the canal will be passable again in the not too distant future.

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.

Distance in italics is for the original canal measured from Wolverhampton or Ogley Junction. Miles and furlongs - don't have a clue? Those were the measurements when the canals were built. In metric a mile is 1.61 kilometres. A furlong is an eigth of a mile or 200 metres.

The other distances used are for the route when restored and realigned in places by LHCRT.

Ogley Junction (or Anglesey Junction) 16 miles 3 furlongs from Horseley Fields Junction, Wolverhampton.

Anglesey Junction Foot Bridge (2000 & 1982)
The bridge is marked "HORSELEY IRON WORKS 1829".

Taken looking East, toward where the first of 30 locks that drop to Huddlesford Junction.

Access via Lichfield Road, Brownhills.

Marina at the head of the (currently disused) locks down toward Huddlesford Junction. Lock Cottage, 271-272 Lichfield Road is visible between the trees.

Taken looking East from Ogley Junction Bridge.
Access via Lichfield Road, Brownhills.

Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 1 0 miles 117 yards or 0.11 Km from Ogley Junction (at the end of the marina, buried under the gardens of the lock cottages.)
Rise of 9ft 6in (2.9m).

Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 2 0 miles 228 yards or 0.21 Km from Ogley Junction (back of Grassmere Gardens).
Rise of 8ft 2in (2.5m).

Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 3 0 miles 335 yards or 0.31 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 8ft 2in (2.5m).

Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 4 0 miles 459 yards or 0.42 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 10ft 2in (3.1m).

(Original) Barracks Lane Bridge - Barracks Lane, off Lichfield Road.

Where the humped back bridge would have been if it had not been removed to flatten the road over it.

Looking West from Barracks Lane near the bottom of the flight of locks down from Ogley Junction.

Photo on left looking West from Barracks Lane - Mar 2003
The corner-stones of lock 5 can just be made out.

Photo on right looking West from Barracks Lane - Feb 2013
The top of lock 5 can be made out partially obscured by the wall of a PRIVATE access to a nearby dwelling. The original towpath is to the left and follows to line of the hedgerow.
(The LHCRT state that canal renovation will be unaffected by the 2013 changes.)

Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 5 0 miles 603 yards or 0.55 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 8ft 10ins (2.7m).

Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 6, 0 miles 3 furlongs from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 8ft 2ins (2.5m).

New Barracks Lane Bridge 0 miles 742 yards or 0.68 Km from Ogley Junction - Proposed new bridge on realigned Barracks Lane

(Original) Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 7, which will be retained as narrows
NEW Rise of 0ft 0ins (0.0m).

(Original) Lock No.8 as it was in October 1981.

The photo on the left is of the westerly end of the lock, that on the right is of the lower easterly end (taken from what will soon be the fast lane of the M6Toll motorway!).

(Original) Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 8, 0 miles 5 furlongs from Ogley Junction - which will be buried.

(Original) Lock No.8 reverting to nature in April 2003 and about to be lost to cater for the M6Toll motorway. The photo is a repeat of that above.

The lock lowered the water level from the higher Brownhills side. To keep the canal high enough to pass over the new motorway the level will not drop until after crossing the new road. This original lock will be lost under a short embankment leading to the aqueduct that is currently being built. A new lock 8 will be constructed on the far side of the aqueduct.

BNRR - M6Toll Motorway ----- The David Suchet Aqueduct
Due to building of Britain's first privately owned toll charging motorway a crossing has been needed to secure the
route required for the re-opening of the Lichfield section of the Wyrley and Essington Canal. The crossing was built with government support, a large donation from The Manifold Trust, the work of
Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and the co-operation of the motorway's builders (CAMBBA). The motorway is operated by MEL (Midland Expressway Ltd.). The canal will be held within a steel aqueduct constructed by Rowecord Engineering Ltd. of Newport, South Wales.

The photograph (above left) of April 2003 shows the concrete structures with the soon to disappear lock 8 just out of the picture to the right. It aqueduct was placed on the concrete structures over the weekend of 16-17/8/2003.

The photograph (right) of April 2015 shows the 45 by 8 metre steel aqueduct.

David Suchet Aqueduct (start) 0 miles 1202 yards or 1.10 Km from Ogley Junction
David Suchet Aqueduct (end) 0 miles 1253 yards or 1.15 Km from Ogley Junction

The "MEGALOCK" ---- In a change to the original plan, the installation of two new locks to replace Locks 7 and 8 will be combined into one very deep lock.
(NEW) Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 8 "A new deep lock is required near the end of the Aqueduct to allow boats to rise from the existing canal channel to connect with the Aqueduct. A rise of about 5 metres is required. To avoid loss of water it will be back-filled by electric pump." ( from LHCRT )
Crane Brook Culvert

From LHCRT - "On Friday, 6th March 2015 Lichfield MP, Michael Fabricant, formally cut the first sod for the work which will see the reinstatement of a culvert and small aqueduct which was demolished when the M6 Toll motorway was built. This structure will enable the Lichfield Canal Trust to reinstate the canal right up to the aqueduct which the Trust had to install before the motorway opened to traffic in 2003. In the immediate future there will only be a walking route from the Boat Inn to Barracks Lane but this will open up the canal route to the general public.  This has been made possible because the Trust managed to attract a substantial funding grant at the turn of the year to open up derelict canal land linking Lichfield and Brownhills."

The culvert will be 43 metres long. The level of the old canal bed can be seen on the left of the photo.

Photo from A5 Waling Street looking South - 27/4/2015 ------ (More Photos in my Flickr album - Crane Brook and the David Suchet Aqueduct)

No longer required - see the "MEGALOCK" above ......

(NEW) Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 7 0 miles 1391 yards or 1.27 Km from Ogley Junction
New Lock will have a rise of 7ft 10in (2.4m).

Cranebrook Quarry Marina ?

From LHCRT - March 2015 ----
"In an exciting new proposal Mark Deadman, a director of WCL Quarries Ltd. revealed a possible plan to turn Cranebrook Quarry  adjacent to the canal at Summerhill into a Marina. When the quarry is finally exhausted instead of filling it in and returning it to heathland it could be connected to the restored canal and turned into a marina. It would also provide valuable water storage for the canal."

No longer required - see the "MEGALOCK" above ......

(NEW) Ogley 1st. Flight Lock 8 1 miles 123 yards or 1.72 Km from Ogley Junction
New Lock will have rise of 8ft 2ins (2.5m).

Walsall Road (A461, Summerhill, Nr Muckley Corner)
(Entry updated 31/7/2015)

The canal crossed the road at the side of the Boat Inn public house (to the right of this photo).

The long dry canal is currently being developed as a Heritage Towpath Trail. Access to the canal walk is to the right of the the pub by the white pillar and gate.

(NEW) Ogley 2nd. Flight Lock 9A 1 miles 581 yards or 2.14 Km from Ogley Junction.
New Lock will have rise of 4ft 7in (1.4m).

Boat Inn Pipe Bridge - start 1 miles 616 yards or 2.17 Km from Ogley Junction

Boat Inn Culvert - start 1 miles 616 yards or 2.17 Km from Ogley Junction

Boat Inn Culvert - finish 1 miles 686 yards or 2.24 Km from Ogley Junction

(Photograph - 30 July 2015) - (More Photos in my Flickr album - Crane Brook and the David Suchet Aqueduct)

Boat Lane The canal followed the line of the lane on its northern side.
Muckley Corner Common

"Muckley Corner Common, or Wall Butts Common as it is officially known, is an area of former heathland lying south of the A5 Watling Street at Muckley Corner, between Wall and Brownhills, approximately 7.5 hectares in size. The site is divided into two by Cranebrook Lane, which extends from Watling Street towards Stonnall. The Wyrley and Essington Canal ran through the site from 1797 until its closure in 1954. The canal was purchased by a private owner, while the rest of the site is owned by Lichfield District Council."
-http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/info/200029/countryside/83/site_management/5

Photo of the common with canal line going from bottom left to centre top - Aug 2014

Watling Street (A5) crossing - (east from Muckley Corner)

(NEW) Ogley 2nd. Flight Lock 9B 1 miles 1514 yards or 2.99 Km from Ogley Junction,
New Lock will have rise of 4ft 3in (1.3m).

A5 culvert - start 1 miles 1584 yards or 3.06 Km from Ogley Junction

A5 culvert - finish 1 miles 1636 yards or 3.11 Km from Ogley Junction

Danks Cottage (now the white house - "Wharf House") and wharf was the original crossing point - the new crossing will be a little to the right.

Photo from Muckley Corner Common looking north across A5 - Sept 2014

Ogley 2nd. Flight Lock 9 2 miles 50 yards or 3.25 Km from Ogley Junction - the proposed new route will by-pass this lock.
Rise of 0ft 0in (0.0m).

Ogley 2nd. Flight Lock 10 2 miles 253 yards or 3.45 Km from Ogley Junction - before bridge.
Rise of 8ft 10in (2.7m).

Muckley Corner Bridge Walsall Road (A461 - north from Muckley Corner) The canal passed under the bridge at the junction of Walsall Road and Wall Lane.

Ogley 2nd. Flight Lock 11 2 miles 458 yards or 3.64 Km from Ogley Junction - adjoining bridge.
rise of 8ft 6in (2.6m).

A461 Moat Bank Bridge (Muckley Corner Bridge)
2 miles 475 yards or 3.65 Km from Ogley Junction
(entry updated 22/11/2011)

The infilling under the bridge has been removed and steps layed down to towpath level.

(Photo looking North-West across A461 toward Coppice Lane - Mar 2009)

Looking north to Coppice Lane. - Nov 1981

Coppice Lane Lock No.12 is still clearly visible but full of accumulated junk.

Ogley 2nd. Flight Lock 12 2 miles 669 yards or 3.83 Km from Ogley Junction with a rise of 9ft 6in (2.9m).

Coppice Lane Bridge 2 miles 686 yards or 3.85 Km from Ogley Junction

Coppice Lane looking south. - March 2003
The large pipe viewed from the road shows where the canal would pass under a road bridge.

Walsall Road (A461 - Pipe Hill) --- The canal passes at the rear of the South Staffs Water Works pumping station and on to Pipe Hill Wharf (or Walsall Road Wharf) - 19 miles 0 furlongs from Horseley Fields Junction, Wolverhampton - that is at the Walsall Road bridges
Walsall Road crosses a triple bridge with arches from south to north - canal - wharf access & farm track - South Staffordshire Railway to Lichfield
Walsall Road
(A461 - Pipe Hill) --- Walsall Road crosses a triple bridge with arches from south to north - canal - farm track - railway. The photo on the left was taken from the west side of the bridges, looking north. The photo on the left was taken from the east side of the bridges looking back to the west. This photo (taken in March 2003) shows the straight metal beams of the railway arch that will shortly be replaced. Also shown are the brick sides of the canal and the size of the trees that have grown in the canal bed since closure.

Pipehill Bridge 2 miles 1602 yards or 4.68 Km from Ogley Junction

Wall Lane Bridge

Wall Lane Bridge 3 miles 598 yards or 5.38 Km from Ogley Junction

Ogley 3rd. Flight Lock 13 3 miles 704 yards or 5.47 Km from Ogley Junction with a rise of 8ft 6in (2.6m).

Ogley 3rd. Flight Lock 14 3 miles 792 yards or 5.55 Km from Ogley Junction with a rise of 8ft 10in (2.7m).

Ogley 3rd. Flight Lock 15 3 miles 862 yards or 5.62 Km from Ogley Junction with a rise of 9ft 6in (2.9m).

Ogley 3rd. Flight Lock 16 3 miles 915 yards or 5.76 Km from Ogley Junction with a rise of 8ft 10in (2.7m).

Ogley 3rd. Flight Lock 17 3 miles 1126 yards or 5.86 Km from Ogley Junction with a rise of 9ft 2in (2.8m).

Cornerstone "jly 1850" (photo Nov1981)

Wall Lane locks betweenWall Lane and Fossway Lane

Cornerstone "june 1857" (photo Nov1981)

New from the LHCRT in 2014.
"Over the coming months sections of the Lichfield Canal Towpath will be opened to the public to form the Heritage Towpath Trail. A Brochure and Interactive Map will be issued showing how the Lichfield Canal wraps around the City, including links into the City and other paths, walks, cycle routes etc as well as heritage information." Lookout for signs from here to Huddlesford Junction.
Fosseway Lane --- A couple of hundred yards on from Fosseway Lane lock 18 was cleared and renovated in May 1996.

This photo of March 2003 taken looking east with the railway line higher up on the left.

Fosseway Lane culvert 3 miles 1144 yards or 5.87 Km from Ogley Junction

Ogley 3rd. Flight Lock 18 3 miles 1302 yards or 6.02 Km from Ogley Junction.
rise of 9ft 10in (3m).

Falkland Road, Sandfields (Lichfield Southern Bypass) the line of the canal crosses the road and passes between the railway embankment and the new flats.

Thiese photos of February 2010 taken looking east with the railway line higher up on the left crossing the new bridge. The canal bed is on the far right of the photo. On the left are large stone blocks from the canal ( moved due to the road building.) The new road is lower than the canal and not in view.

Divertion to the right
Claypit Lane culvert follows on the new route at 4 miles 669 yards or 7.05 Km from Ogley Junction on the new route ................................

Sandfields Pumping Station on the west side of Chesterfield Road. This March 2003 photo, taken looking north, looks across the path of the canal in the foreground. ----- on old route

The Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station aim to ... "To ensure the safety, conservation, security and accessibility of Sandfields Pumping Station".

Chesterfield Road - Taken along the line of the canal toward Lichfield with the houses of Chesterfield Road ahead. From here the route enters a built up area that has removed most traces of the line of the canal. The rebuilding of this section will loop to the south and rejoin the original route just before London Road.
----- on old route
Birmingham Road (A5127) - The canal crossed the road on the line of the current Essington Close (and near Wyrley Close). The parapet of the bridge on the other side of road still exists. ----- on old route
The canal crossed under the railway line into Lichfield Station. ----- on old route
Shortbutts Lane The canal crossed the road a little to the east of the railway bridge. The line of the canal comes from the private access "Kings Mews" and across the road becomes a public open space. ----- on old route
Back to the new route ...........................

Claypit Lane Culvert (or Fosseway Culvert)

New Lock 19 4 miles 792 yards or 7.16 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 8ft 2in (2.5m).

New Lock 20 4 miles 898 yards or 7.26 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 8ft 2in (2.5m).

New Lock 21 4 miles 1003 yards or 7.35 Km from Ogley Junction.
rise of 8ft 2in (2.5m).

Birmingham Road Tunnel 4 miles 1057 yards or 7.40 Km from Ogley Junction

Birmingham Road Tunnel 4 miles 1091 yards or 7.44 Km from Ogley Junction

Railway Tunnel - start 4 miles 1126 yards or 7.47 Km from Ogley Junction

Railway Tunnel - start 4 miles 1126 yards or 7.47 Km from Ogley Junction

The line of the canal passes between Wordsworth Close (on the left) and Marsh Lane (on the right).

New Lock 22 4 miles 1443 yards or 7.76 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 9ft 10in (3m).
(Followed by Lock 22 Turnover Bridge to carry towpath to the northern side of the canal)

New Lock 23 5 miles or 8 Km from Ogley Junction.
rise of 8ft 10in (2.7m).
(Followed by Lock 23 Turnover Bridge to carry towpath back to the southern side of the canal)

London Road (A5206) The canal would have crossed the road and passed to the south of Gladhill Park and then runs beside the south side of Tamworth Road (A51).

St. Johns Bridge (London Road)
5 miles 87 yards or 8.13 Km from Ogley Junction

New Lock 24 5 miles 581 yards or 8.58 Km from Ogley Junction.
rise of 8ft 10in (2.7m).

Cricket Lane (Ryknild Street Roman road) was crossed and old lock 24 was a little distance to the east.

Cricket Lane Bridge 5 miles 668 yards or 8.66 Km from Ogley Junction

Photo on left - Aug 2011

Photo on right looking back towards Cricket Lane - Aug 2004

The start of "Borrowcop Locks Canal Park" public amenity walk.

Photo - Aug 2011

old lock 24
5 miles 4 furlongs from Ogley Junction.

Possibly to be retained as narrows - giving a NEW Rise of 0ft 0ins (0.0m).

Looking back towards Cricket Lane - Aug 2011

Photo on left - Aug 2011

Lock 25, which is being restored - on the south side of the Tamworth Road (A51)

5 miles 4 furlongs from Ogley Junction

Rise of 10ft 6in (3.2m).

Photo - Aug 2004

Looking back towards Cricket Lane - Aug 2011

"a new steel footbridge, donated in memory of the late Marjorie Kitchener, providing access over the tail of Lock 25 where an interpretation board has been sited." - LHCRT

Looking back towards Cricket Lane - Aug 2011

Photo - Aug 2011

Lock 26 (Millennium Lock)

5 miles 1074 yards or 9.03 Km from Ogley Junction
Rise of 7ft 10in (2.4m).

Looking back towards Cricket Lane - Aug 2011

Looking along the line of the canal to the A38 in the middle distance. The new line will go off to the left (along side the A38) towards Tamworth Road. Photo - Aug 2011

A38 crossing
The original line was direct ahead across the A38 and then in an arc to the left to cross Tamworth Road (A51). The new route will reverse this.

Looking back with the line of the canal in the middle distance going off to the right towards Cricket Lane. Traffic on the A38 can be seen on the left. Photo - Aug 2011

Tamworth Road (A51) - will be crossed just before the A38 as the canal turns to the north-east.

Tamworth Road Tunnel - start 5 miles 1443 yards or 9.37 Km from Ogley Junction

Tamworth Road Tunnel - finish 5 miles 1496 yards or 9.41 Km from Ogley Junction

Photo looking ahead to the Tamworth Road (A51) with Ryknild Street to the left - Oct 2014

Darnford Park, Ryknild Street

site of ---- New Staircase Locks 27/28 - 5 miles 1584 yards or 9.50 Km from Ogley Junction.

This will be a pair of locks with a rise of 17ft 8in (5.4m).

Access via Ryknild Street (corner of Tamworth Road (A51)) - enter Darnford Park car park and walk straight ahead and look to the right.

Photo looking north-east with the A38 running parallel on the right - Oct 2014

A38 - will be crossed via a tunnel

"The completed crossing would be around 45m long, with a 4m wide navigable channel and 2m towpath."
- from http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/ltrail/heritagepage_69.html - 29/10/2014

A38 culvert - start 5 miles 1690 yards or 9.59 Km from Ogley Junction

A38 culvert - finish 5 miles 1742 yards or 9.64 Km from Ogley Junction

Photo looking ahead to the A38 crossing point - Oct 2014

Darnford Lane. On the left is old lock 29 (taken looking west back to Darnford Lane).
New Lock 29 6 miles 317 yards or 9.95 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 5ft 11in (1.8m).

On the right a new lift bridge a little further east - to carry towpath back to the southern side of the canal.

Darnford Lane Bridge 6 miles 528 yards or 10.14 Km from Ogley Junction

Old Lock 29 will remain unused in woodland

Darnford Lane Lift Bridge 6 miles 1074yards or 10.64 Km from Ogley Junction

Lock 30 6 miles 1355 yards or 10.90 Km from Ogley Junction.
Rise of 7ft 3in (2.2m).

Cappers Bridge, Capper's Lane
Capper's Lane Bridge 6 miles 1654 yards or 11.17 Km from Ogley Junction

The current bridge was built between October 2005 and March 2006. The proposed route of the High Speed Rail Line 2 was to pass over the canal bridge but is now expected to require the removal of the bridge but ....
"The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Trust is pleased to announce that it has concluded an agreement with HS2 Ltd to safeguard the restoration of the Canal at Huddlesford under the current plans contained in the Hybrid Bill for construction of the railway. This will place no financial burden on the Trust." http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/news.htm 27th. October 2014

Photo looking towards Huddlesford Junction - May 2006

East of Capper's Lane

The canal is in water from this point and many narrow boats and others are based in this final stretch that leads to Huddlesford Junction.

Lichfield Cruising Club Private Moorings (No Access)

Photo taken from the east side of Capper's Lane looking east.

Watery Lane Bridge
7 miles 53 yards or 11.31 Km from Ogley Junction.

Access via public footpath (from Park Lane from the north or from Capper's Lane from the south)

(No Access from the towpath - Lichfield Cruising Club Private Moorings)

Photo taken from the south side of the bridge looking north - 20/12/2014.

LCC Sliding Bridge - Lichfield Cruising Club Private Moorings (No Access)
7miles 2 furlongs from Ogley Junction
Huddlesford Junction (with the Coventry Canal)
Huddlesford Junction 7miles 528 yards or 11.75 Km from Ogley Junction

23 miles 4 furlongs from Horseley Fields Junction, Wolverhampton.

The foot bridge would lead to the towpath but is closed due to the private boat club that uses the end section of the Wyrley and Essington.

Coventry Canal running to the south. This photo of March 2003 is taken from the footbridge that would lead back to the Wyrley and Essington Canal but is closed due to the private boat club.

Coventry Canal running to the north.

Access to the canal is from Broad Lane at it's junction with Park Lane.

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.

 

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