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SHROPSHIRE CANALS 

  

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Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal

 

 

History

 

Miles

Locks

Opened

Closed

Route

39

26

1835

-

SJ902020 (Autherley Junction)

SJ639527 (Nantwich Basin)

 

 

The Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal ran from Nantwich to Autherley, linking up with the Ellesmere & Chester Canal and Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. It thus formed part of a major link between the port of Liverpool and the industrial heartlands of the Midlands. The canal was authorised by an Act of Parliament on 26th May 1826, viz

 

"An Act for making a navigable Canal from the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, in the parish of Tettenhall, in the county of Stafford, to the United Navigation of the Ellesmere and Chester Canals, in the parish of Acton, in the county palatine of Chester, and named The Company of Proprietors of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal Navigation".  The Act enabled the proprietors to raise an initial sum of £400,000 in four-hundred shares of £100 each and, if necessary, the further sum of £100,000.  The sum of £325,000 had already been committed prior to this Act going before parliament. The following Rates and Exemptions were also stipulated in the Act:

 

TONNAGE AND WHARFAGE RATES

For Coal or other Minerals, (except Lime,) Coke, Goods, Wares, Merchandize, Commodities and Things whatsoever

1½d per Ton, per Mile

 

Lime

½d per Ton, per Mile

 

Fractions to be taken as for a Quarter of a Ton, and for a Quarter of a Mile

 

EXEMPTION FROM TOLL

Paving-stones, Gravel, Sand, and all other Materials for making or repairing of Roads, (Limestone excepted) all Dung, Soil, Marl, and all sorts of Manure for the Improvement only of any Lands or Grounds lying within any Parish or Place through which this Canal will be carried, and belonging to the Owners or Occupiers of such Lands as may be required for the purposes of the Act.

 

Boats of less Burthen than Twenty Tons not to pass without leave, unless there is not Water for a greater Burthen.

 

The Locks on this canal emptied water from the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal by locking down from it, thus the Proprietors of this navigation were entitled to make the following additional charges, ostensibly to fund the pumping of water back into their canal:

 

TONNAGE RATES

For Coal or other Minerals, Coke, Goods, Wares or Merchandize, Commodities and Things whatsoever, which shall pass out of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal into the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal, or out of the last-mentioned Canal into the former - 2s per Ton

 

The project engineer was Thomas Telford.  He faced a number of engineering problems during construction but the canal was finally finished in 1835. It was built as a narrow canal, for boats with a maximum width of 7ft.  The length of the canal was 39 miles (9½ of which ran through Shropshire) and it required 26 locks to negotiate the drop in level of 176ft between the two ends.  The locks were constructed in flights, with 5 locks at Tyrley, 5 locks at Adderley. 15 locks at Audlem and 2 locks at Hack Green.  Due to the length of some of the embankments, the canal is equipped with flood gates at regular intervals to prevent loss of water should the canal be breached. During World War II, these locks were kept closed at night because of the risk of bomb damage.

 

In 1845, the company was taken over by the Ellesmere & Chester Canal Company and, in the following year, it obtained an Act of Parliament to change its name to the Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company. The Act also authorised it to acquire the Shrewsbury Canal, Shropshire Canal and Montgomeryshire Canal.  The whole canal network now became generally known as the Shropshire Union.  In 1847, the new company agreed to the terms of a lease from the London & North Western Railway Company and so lost its independence but continued to manage the canals under its control.  As it was an important route for trade between two major centres, it remained profitable long after many canals had become uneconomic. Shortly before railway grouping in 1922, the L&NWR bought the Shropshire Union outright and they in turn were bought by the London Midland & Scottish Railway. They then proceeded to close down the canals in its ownership. When most of the Shropshire Union was closed by an Act of Abandonment in 1944, the former Birmingham & Liverpool section and the route onwards to Ellesmere Port remained open.  The Shropshire Union was acquired by British Waterways in 1947 and continued as an important carrier of metal and oil products.  It remained so until the mid-1960s and today it is a popular venue for pleasure craft.

 

This canal is still in use so the vast majority of features still exist.  The best way of viewing them is to go for a ride on the canal itself.  Boat hire is available from several firms.

 

Route through Shropshire

 

1.   Boundary with Cheshire – Betton Wood

 

 

Adderley Pool Bridge

(aka Kemp’s Bridge)

 

Hawkesmoor Bridge

Adderley Bottom Lock

Massey’s Bridge

 

Adderley Lock 4

Adderley Lock 3

 

Wem’s Brisge

Adderley Lock 2

 

Adderley Top Lock

 

Adderley Wharf Bridge

Adderley Lees Bridge

 

Betton Coppice Bridge

 

Betton Wood Bridge

 

 

 

2.   Betton Wood – Market Drayton

 

 

Victoria Bridge

 

Lord’s Bridge

 

 

Betton Bridge

 

Talbot Wharf

 

Newcastle Road Bridge

Berrisford Road Aqueduct

3.   Market Drayton - Holling’s Bridge

 

 

Tyrley Castle Bridge

 

Tyrley Bottom Lock

 

Tyrley Lock 4

 

Tyrley Lock 3

 

Tyrley Lock 2

 

Tyrley Bridge

 

Tyrley Top Lock

 

Tyrley Farm Bridge

 

Holling’s Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.   Holling’s Bridge – Goldstone Bridge

 

 

High Bridge

 

Cheswardine Bridge

 

Goldstone Bridge

 

 

5.   Goldstone Bridge – Boundary with Staffordshire

 

 

Westcottmill Bridge

 

Halleman’s Bridge

 

Fox Bridge

 

New Brighton Bridge

 

Soudley Bridge

 

Hazledine’s Bridge

 

Park Heath Bridge

 

 

Table of Features

 

Only the Shropshire section has links for Google map

 

Location

Feature

SJ901020

Autherley Junction

SJ900020

Autherley Junction Bridge No 1

SJ900020

Autherley Stop Lock

SJ896025

Bathurst Bridge No 2

SJ892027

Turnover Bridge No 3

SJ892027

Droveway Bridge No 3A

SJ887034

Pendeford Bridge No 4

SJ888044

Upper Hattons Bridge No 5

SJ889049

M54 Bridge

SJ890052

Lower Hattons Bridge No 6

SJ890059

Hunting Bridge No 7

SJ890066

Park Bridge No 8

SJ889071

Park Lodge Winding Hole

SJ889072

Chillington Bridge No 9

SJ887075

Avenue Bridge No 10

SJ884080

Giffards Cross Bridge No 11

SJ881082

Deans Hall Bridge No 12

SJ879086

School Bridge No 13

SJ877092

Brewood Wharf

SJ875098

Skew Bridge No 15

SJ874100

Broomhall Bridge No 16

SJ871107

Stretton Aqueduct

SJ864119

Lapley Wood Bridge No 17

SJ858125

Wheaton Aston Bridge No 18

SJ857126

Wheaton Aston Lock No 2

SJ852132

Dirty Lane Bridge No 20

SJ847145

Aqueduct over Wheaton Aston Brook

SJ846148

Shushions Bridge No 21

SJ845150

Rye Hill Bridge No 22

SJ844156

Rye Hill Cutting Bridge No 23

SJ840161

Little Onn Bridge No 24

SJ834168

High Onn Bridge No 25

SJ830172

Turnover Bridge No 26

SJ830173

Park Bridge No 27

SJ830178

Oscote Barn Bridge No 28

SJ829182

Wood Eaton Bridge No 29

SJ829185

Castle Cutting Bridge No 30

SJ828189

Cowley Double Road Bridge No 31

SJ827192

Cowley Bridge No 32

SJ823197

Cowley Tunnel No 33 South Portal

SJ823197

Cowley Tunnel No 33 North Portal

SJ820201

Boat Inn Bridge No 34

SJ816205

Gnosall Railway Bridge

SJ814206

Plardiwick Bridge No 36

SJ807211

Machins Barn Bridge No 37

SJ803215

Norbury Stop Gates

SJ802215

Norbury Road Aqueduct

SJ793224

High Meadow Aqueduct

SJ792228

Norbury Junction

SJ792229

Norbury Bridge No 38

SJ788242

High Bridge No 39

SJ788246

Double Culvert Bridge No 40

SJ784252

Grub Street Winding Hole

SJ781253

Lambart’s Bridge No 41

SJ774257

Anchor Bridge No 42

SJ771259

Bullock's Bridge No 43

SJ763261

Shebdon Bridge No 44

SJ760261

Shebdon Embankment

SJ757261

Shebdon Winding Hole

SJ757261

Shebdon Aqueduct

SJ751264

Knighton Aqueduct

SJ747267

Knighton Wharf

SJ745269

Newport Road Bridge No 45

SJ744269

Knighton Bridge No 46

SJ741271

Black Flat Bridge No 47

SJ736273

Boundary of Shropshire and Staffordshire

SJ731275

Park Heath Bridge No.48

SJ731275

Winding Hole

SJ727274

Hazeldine’s Bridge No.49

SJ723274

Soudley Bridge No.50

SJ720277

New Brighton Bridge No.51

SJ716282

Fox Bridge No.52

SJ713287

Halleman’s Bridge No.53

SJ710290

Westcottmill Bridge No.54

SJ705294

Goldstone Bridge No.55

SJ705294

Winding Hole

SJ700301

Cheswardine Bridge No.56

SJ697307

High Bridge No.57

SJ693315

Holling’s Bridge No.58

SJ692322

Tyrley Farm Bridge No.59

SJ691324

Tyrley Wharf Winding Hole

SJ690324

Tyrley Top Lock No.3

SJ690324

Tyrley Road Bridge No.60

SJ689325

Tyrley Lock 2 No.4

SJ688327

Tyrley Lock 3 No.5

SJ688328

Tyrley Lock 4 No.6

SJ687329

Tyrley Bottom Lock No.7

SJ685336

Tyrley Castle Bridge No.61

SJ685343

Berrisford Road Aqueduct

SJ685343

River Tem Aqueduct

SJ683345

Newcastle Road Bridge No.62

SJ684346

Talbot Wharf

SJ683347

Betton Bridge No.63

SJ682349

Lord’s Bridge Wharf

SJ681349

Lord’s Bridge No.64

SJ679352

Victoria Bridge No.65

SJ676355

North Staffordshire Railway Bridge (demolished)

SJ670374

Betton Wood Bridge No.66

SJ671381

Betton Coppice Bridge No.67

SJ671387

Adderley Lees Bridge No.68

SJ670391

Adderley Winding Hole

SJ670391

Adderley Wharf Bridge.69

SJ670392

Adderley Top Lock No.8

SJ670394

Adderley Lock 2 No.9

SJ670394

Wem’s Bridge No.7

SJ670395

Adderley Lock 3 No.10

SJ670396

Adderley Lock 4 No.11

SJ669397

Massey's Bridge No.71

SJ669398

Adderley Bottom Lock No.12

SJ668401

Hawkesmoor Bridge No.72

SJ666405

Adderley Pool Bridge No.73

SJ661411

Boundary of Shropshire and Cheshire

SJ659411

Spinks Bridge No 74

SJ658415

Audlem Lock 1 No 13

SJ658416

Coxbank Bridge No 75

SJ658417

Audlem Lock 2 No 14

SJ657420

Audlem Lock 3 No 15

SJ657421

Bagley Lane Bridge No 76

SJ657422

Audlem Lock 4 No 16

SJ658423

Audlem Lock 5 No 17

SJ658424

Audlem Lock 6 No 18

SJ658425

Snow’s Bridge No 77

SJ658426

Audlem Lock 7 No 19

SJ658427

Audlem Lock 8 No 20

SJ658428

Audlem Lock 9 No 21

SJ658429

Audlem Lock 10 No 22

SJ658431

Audlem Lock 11 No 23

SJ657435

Audlem Lock 12 No 24

SJ657435

Audlem Bridge No 78

SJ657435

Audlem Wharf

SJ657436

Audlem Lock 13 No 25

SJ655438

Audlem Lock 14 No 26

SJ653440

Audlem Lock 15 No 27

SJ654440

Moss Hall Bridge No 79

SJ653440

Moss Hall Winding Hole

SJ652443

Moss Hall Aqueduct

SJ652451

Bennets Bridge No 80

SJ648461

Coole Lane Bridge No 82

SJ647463

Dismantled Railway Bridge

SJ647465

Austins Bridge No 83

SJ645469

Mickley Bridge No 84

SJ641481

Burrows Bridge No 85

SJ640483

Hack Green Top Lock No 28

SJ640484

Hack Green Bridge No 86

SJ639485

Hack Green Bottom Lock No 29

SJ636496

Baddington Bridge No 88

SJ637504

Redripes Bridge No 89

SJ637508

Nantwich Railway Bridge No 89A

SJ639513

David’s Bridge No 90

SJ639515

Nantwich Pipe Bridge

SJ640516

Marsh Lane Bridge No 91

SJ641526

Nantwich Aqueduct

SJ641526

Nantwich Junction Bridge No 92

SJ640527

Nantwich Basin