The Wednesbury Oak Loop is a semicircle of abandoned canal which used to form part of James Brindley's 1769 through loop between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Brindley's canals were notorious for following the land, and this section is the area where the canal hugs the 473 foot contour round the eastern side of Summer Hill, avoiding the sharp rise of Coseley which was later pierced by the Coseley Tunnel.
The Wednesbury Oak Loop was created by an earlier shortening of Brindley's route known as the Rotton Brunt Line. This ran along a low embankment which shortened the length of the canal, avoided a connected bottleneck and also served as a starting point for the Bradley Locks Branch which descended to the Walsall Canal below.
Just to the north there is the long lost line of the Bradley Marr Branch, a private canal reaching Bradley Colliery, which had the distinction of being the second staircase pair of locks on the BCN.
The area is now mostly suburbia, surrounding a large expanse of open land known as Weddell Wynd and is part of the current pans to restore the Bradley Locks Branch to navigation.
Ariel view of the Old Main Line, Rotten Brunt Line and Bradley Marr Branch with part of Bradley Locks in the foreground (left)
Impression of Tup Street Bridge
South of Tup Street Bridge
Batmans Hill Bridge
Batemans Hill Bridge
Partridge and Howls Bridge
- Vic Smallshire
Bradley Locks Branch with Wednesbury Oak Loop to left
The above photos have been assembled from various sources, including those freely found on the internet. My thanks go to the many photographers alive and dead who have contributed to this collection and in so doing, are keeping the memory of these lost canals alive. These images are reproduced for ease of research are are not necessarily the property of this blog, and as such should not be used for commercial gain without the explicit permission of the owner (whoever that may be).