Last weekend, I revisited for the first time in ages the subject that was once so prominent here – Chasewater dam – but not in reference to the recent renovations, but to the creation of the reservoir and the failure of the earthwork dam in 1799.
The necessity of draining and dam works that recently took place can be indicated by the following newspaper report, a remarkable snippet spotted by Peter “Pedro’ Cutler in the Staffordshire Advertiser of 15th June 1799. It describes briefly the effects of the dam failure in quite a graphic manner.
I’m interested in the location of Blackbrook – an if it was a place. The Black Brook is the name of the watercourse formed (I think) when the Crane Brook meets the Footherley Brook northeast of Shenstone. It goes on to flow through Weeford, Hints and on to the Tame near Tamworth. Where was the ‘New’ stone bridge?
I welcome any comment, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks, as ever, to Peter for his eagle eyes. This really is a wonderful thing.
On Wednesday, the embankment of the reservoir of the Wyrley and Essington canal, on Cannock-heath gave way, and the water swept everything before it in the line it took through Shenstone, Hopwas, Drayton, &c. till it fell into, and overflowed the Tame at Tamworth. At Blackbrook, seven miles from the reservoir, the new stone bridge was blown up; numbers of sheep and some cattle were drowned; but two or three persons, aware of the accident, at the first, rode forward, and giving the farmers the alarm, they had time to remove the chief of the cattle and horses to high ground. The damage sustained is, however, very great and calculated at many thousand pounds. At Hammerwich, near Lichfield, the meadows are twelve inches deep with the gravel and water brought down with it.