I’ve been busy with real-world work most of this weekend, so apologies for the reduced power in transmission, but here’s the first of two interesting articles I’ve had in from Ian James, both regarding the history and physical geography of Chasewater.
In the past, there have been several discussions and articles here about the old roads that existed prior to the modern urbanisation we have today – Gerald Reece and Andy Dennis have both speculated about the lie of the land with regard to the old highways, as can be seen in this article by Gerald and this one by Andy.
Before Chasewater existed (or to give it it’s original name, Cannock Chase Reservoir when it was created in the late 1790s) it appears an old road ran through it: The Coventry Road.
Here, Ian looks at the mapping evidence using one of Gerald’s maps and other resources, including this 1963 aerial photo to investigate what may be a visible trace of the old road.
Thanks to Ian for this – it really is a great spot.
What do you think? Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at googlemmil dot com.
Ian James wrote:
For some reason or other I was looking over old maps of the Chasewater area.
I found the 1760 (about) map before the reservoir was built.
The map is labelled ‘Fig 3: Manuscript plan about 1760: Reece, p91.’
I rotated the map so north was pointing upwards and added annotation where I could make out the handwritten original text.
I remembered the articles where the shadows in the field from aerial views were looked at for evidence of mines and other buildings.
Then I compared the 1760 map with the 1963 aerial map on your website.
If you look at the path running NNW from where the Parade meets the A5 and compare it with the rotated 1760 map there is a good match. But if you enlarge view of the field south of Chasewater, you can see the a continuation of the path as a faint shadow in the field.
The line is a good fit for the 1760 “Coventry Road”. A well trodden path would not have left sufficient evidence in the field for the aerial photograph to pick up that level of detail so it is more likely a historic feature such as a road.I overlayed the very old map with one from before the M6 Toll and Burntwood Bypass to check for correlations. There is a trivial amount of stretching required to get the lining up of main features but that is consistent with printing and copying discrepancies that may have crept in.
I wondered if there was any interest from an archeology point of view.
Work in the area since 1963 may have wiped out the surface view but some evidence within a spade ot two is likely to be there still.