Monday, 21 November 2011

Lord Hay's Canal - part 2

Lord Hay's Canal - part 2
Fishley No 2 Bridge to Newtown Bridge
Wyrley and Essington Canal
October 2011

We left the trail of the three mile Lord Hay's Canal at Fishley No 2 Bridge, just over half a mile into its course and soon after it became choked with rubble.

Looking west from Fishley No 3 Bridge

For a while the course is all but lost, the line marked out by a lonely winding hedge, with the land on the north side much lower than the south. Tucked in behind the hedge there are a pair of bee hives, their inhabitants alive in the autumn sunshine as they prepare for the onslaught of winter. I gave them a wide berth and set off on the southern side of the hedge taking care not to trudge over growing crops.

Infilled Fishley No 3 Bridge

After maybe quarter of a mile the stand of trees reasserts itself, marking out both the width and line of the abandoned cut. At the start it is quite possible to walk through the trees, following the exact line but then the vegetation thickens forcing you out into the meadows to the north. 

Fishley No3 Culvert

After dodging through a couple of gates I came across a track running over the canal, clearly the site of Fishley No 3 Bridge. I could see two parallel lines of bricks running across the track - indicating the top of the bridge supports. A bit of a scramble through the thicket and there it was, the bridge supports but with the parapets collapsed and the bricks loosely stacked in the old navigation channel.

West from Fishley No 3 Bridge

That wasn't all there was to this location. After casting round a bit I found a concrete cover with one section removed covering a brick lined overflow culvert. Ground water still oozes across its base and the remaining stump of the cast iron paddle sear sits lost and forlorn.

Looking east from Stafford Road

The undergrowth soon forces you out into the fields again so I continued along the northern edge of the track. Eventually, in the corner of the field, I found a gate which, after another barrier of brambles, took me to the site of Newton Bridge and Stafford Road - the end of this section.

No comments: