Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Windmill End, Netherton

Windmill End, Netherton
20th October 2010

After a weekend of flu and aches I was itching to get outside in the fresh air, and where better to go than Netherton? An obvious location I would have thought.

My favourite view of Cobbs Engine House

Yes, that's right. With the 2010 cruising season coming to a close Captain Ahab and Able Seaman Jeff have returned to their quest of seeking out the abandoned nooks and crannies of the BCN, the more obscure the better.

Majestic ruins

Windmill End isn't exactly abandoned from a boating perspective but there is precious left of the intensive industry which occupied the area for 150 years. Standing tall above this post industrial wasteland stands the skeletal remains of Cobbs Engine House, or Windmill End Pumping Station to give it its proper name.

This gaunt structure was built in 1831 on three stories to contain a Newcomen type beam engine which faithfully pumped 1.6m litres of water per day from Windmill End Colliery 525 feet below for nearly 100 years. By 1928 the coal seams were no more and the obsolete engine was moved to a Michigan museum.

Slag heap cresta run

Whilst the boilerhouse may be roofless, it is a listed structure standing slightly apart from the 11"6' square tapered chimney which rises 95 feet into the sky, serving as a landmark for miles around.

Warrens Hall Colliery Basin - flattery to deceive

We walked around this impressive ruin, viewing it from all angles. Perhaps the best perspective is from the top of the windswept slag heap which is all that remains of Windmill End Colliery, its steep slides sweeping down to the polluted depths of Warrens Hall Colliery Basin.

The Sandwell Council gives this site the 9th place in their top ten waterways attraction, and what is number one I hear you cry? Answer: The Engine Arm Aqueduct - and they are not wrong!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's one of my favourite spots on the BCN - stunning views all around.

Sue, Indigo Dream