Now the water has drained away

Untitled 9

Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 scale map of the path of the Cannock Extension canal. Image from National Library of Scotland Archive. Click for a larger version.

Following my post recently concerning some great maps sent to me by Bruce Littley, reader, friend of the blog and top local allotment whiz Steve Hames has been in touch with some great images of the path of the former Cannock Extension Canal which was pictured in the Aerofilms image in the post.

Some years ago, Steve explored the path of this lost waterway. He had this to say:

Hi Bob,

Just seen your What’s the plan? post and you mentioned the lost canal. Well a couple of years ago, I took some pictures of the remains of the canal that ran through Norton Canes. Thought you might be interested in them.

Pic1 is on the A5. You used to be able to walk up the steps and follow the old canal all the way to Betty’s Lane/Conduit Road.

Pic2 is where the M6 Toll cuts through the remains.

Pic3 is from Conduit Road. If you walk through the trees, you can walk all the way up to the M6 Toll following the same route as the canal. You can even see some of the brick work as shown in Pic5.

Pic6 is just off Chapel Street, next to the park. If you look carefully, you can see where the canal was filled in and the land has settled. The houses in the background were built on top of the old canal.

The canal then runs along side the Castlecroft estate but the way through was blocked off when I took the photos. When I was a kid, you can go through a gap in the trees and see the brick work of the canal.

Pic6-9 is down Washbrook Lane. I believe the canal was the other side of the wall, although I have no idea why.

Excuse any spelling mistakes, I’ve just got back from the allotment and I’m knackered.


My thanks to Steve for such an interesting contribution.

This long-gone canal does seem to capture the imagination of folk, there’s a great writeup too on the Captain Ahab’s Watery Tales blog, which this sits well beside. I’m interested in any memories anyone has of this canal as a working waterway, and also, of it’s decline.

What do you know, folks? Comment here, or BronhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Untitled 9

1940s 1:50,000 mapping of Cannock and Great Wyrley showing the full path of the Cannock Extension. If it were still extant today, it would be lovely to cycle. Click for a larger version.

This entry was posted in Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Now the water has drained away

  1. Pedro says:

    Feb 1863 annual meeting of the B’ham Canal Navigations reported that the works at Rumour Hill and Hednesford have now been completed and the entire line Cannock Extension canal is open to traffic.

    “The facilities thus afforded for developing the mineral resources of that very important district will, it is expected, secure early attention on the part of the public to the advantages which it holds out.

  2. mariaann fitzgerald says:

    Hi Bob,I found some old photos of the May Pole dancing at ogly hay infants, roughly about 1967/68.Not quite sure of the date, longtime ago .regards Maria Fitzgerald I am the one closest to the teacher , on the first photo. Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 16:00:30 +0000 To:

  3. Pedro says:

    And then came the railroad!

    In November of 1872, notice given of application to Parliament by London and NWR Co…

    For a Railway (to be called the Norton Branch Extension) commencing in parish of Norton Canes…by a junction with the Norton Branch of the Company’s railway….

    …which the Company may be empowered by the Act to acquire by compulsion or agreement, and to hold, for purposes connected with the Norton Branch Extension, certain lands, houses and buildings…

  4. Fred .B. Lycett says:

    Topo of the wall in washbrook lane was towpath level, it had to be continually built up to combat subsidence, all the bridges up the arm had jacking points and were periodically jacked for the same reason, boats of clay were dumped in the canal to make up the bottom, a team of bricklayers spent most of their carreer raising towpath and supporting walls.

    I am not sure, but I believe may be the last boat before closure was a Maid Line hire cruiser, I thought it was going to be me with ” Monarch”, along with my father, but the Maid Line boat went up after me and possibly others, Sainsbury stand on the route of Rumour hill flight of locks, my father rode his bike into the canal on this flight, working down to Carpet Trades, Kidderminster with his step father, those were the days, before it changed to a foreign land

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.