Sunday, 12 December 2010

Discovering the Bradley Loop - Summer Hill

The Badley Loop
Summer Hill area
December 2010

Upper Church Street represents something of a watershed when tracing the line of the old Brabley Loop canal. From the air a probable line is apparent but on the ground it's a different matter altogether.

Summer Hill maze

Immediately to the east of Upper Church Street is all clear enough, but then the open ground falls away down a steep bank and on a lockless canal this is a no no.

Approaching Upper Church St

Contouring round Summer Hill

The canal must have been carved round the side of the hill on a high contour, dodging between brickworks and mines, with the situation made worse by open cast mining on the site of Moat Colliery.

The lost zone

The canal then skirted round beyond Moat Colliery, now modern housing with all trace of the line lost. It's a similar tale on the upper Ocker Hill branch. Utterly built over and all trace of the line lost -- not even worth exploring.

The canal route can be picked up again as it crosses an abandoned railway line behind ASDA, but only after a mile an a half of bewildered wandering round featureless estates. From Asda onwards the line enters the relatively canal artifact rich area at the top of the Bradley Locks - but more of that tomorrow.

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