Gilpins to Cannock Colliery
And so we continue south out of the area of opencast mining which obliterated Gilpins Basin. The area isnt huge, less than half a mile across with a couple of pools (called north and south) with a ditch joining them approximately following the lost line of the canal. The path through this area has been upgraded over the winter and is now in tip top condition.
Link to original 2009 series on this canal
Then its back to business as we cross Landywood Bridge, now a raised embankment with the old side wharf clearly visible via the footpath.
Baker Bridge - Wyrley Bank Branch Canal
Looking north from site of long Lane Bridge
Then its Baker Bridge - a perfectly preserved hump backed bridge which sits astride a water filled channel but Long Lane bridge hasn't been as fortunate. This carries the busy road into Bloxwich and has been turned into a piped embankment over the canal. However, it does offer good views north and south along the abandoned cut.
The canal remains in water and the next significant structure is the first railway crossing, still in use and linking Walsall to Cannock. The canal turn sharply to pass beneath the railway to reach what was the original terminus of the Wyrley and Essington Canal as originally built serving Cannock Colliery which also had access to the Lord Hays branch a few hundred yards to the east, but at a level five locks lower.
Rope roller beneath railway bridge
Railway Bridge at Cannock Colliery site, Wyrley Bank Branch Canal 2013