Friday, 5 February 2010

Hatherton Canal Cherry Tree Bridge

Hatherton Canal
Cherry Tree Bridge and Wedges Mill Lock
February 2010

The end of this pleasant waterside path is marked by Cherry Tree Bridge, which  comes complete with a fake crossover ramp built to give walkers access to the towpath. I suppose you could make a round trip of it and return down the edge of the noisy A5, but I would suggest that this canal walk justifies a trip in both directions.

Cherry Tree Bridge at Cannock

Beyond Cherry Tree Bridge there are only a couple of hundred yards of overgrown and inpenetrable ditch before the course is truncated by yet another embankment on which indiusrial units have been built beside the A4601 Wolverhampton Road. Whilst this is the end of the road for waterside wandererers, the line of the canal continues beyond the road to the site of Wegdes Mill Lock, behind Halfords.

Hatherton Canal nr Wedges Mill crossing

For the next quarter of a mile the old canal track is retained, now carrying Wryley Brook. After maybe 400 yards the course on the canal is lost, buried beneath the huge CAT Finning works never to re-emerge. The course followed what is now Vines Road, the site of Brick Lock (No 6) ,with the final two locks now buried beneath an access road between two warehouses.

This area also contained the extensive Hawkins Basin, accessed by an aqueduct over Wyrley Brook, which was briefly exhumed as part of the M6 Toll construction.

As for the rest of the line up to Churchbridge, this was all infilled in 1988 leaving no traces on the ground.


Fiona said...

I have just discovered you blog - in searching for info on the BCN and the Wyrley and Essington. We are spending the winter months exploring the BCN (except when iced in!)and your blog is a wonderful resource, thanks so much.
I wish I had the opportunity and the breath to do the abandoned cnala walks - I so enjoy researching for our travel blog!
Please keep up the good work - enjoying the latest too!

Captain Ahab said...

I hope you enjoy your exploration of the BCN - its a very rich and varied experience which is overlooked by so many.
Finding good moorings is the key!