Lost Canals

My interest in inland waterways doesn't stop with the ones we can cruise along in Wand'ring Bark, our narrow boat.


There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of waterways which have been lost under a sea of redevelopment, or in some cases just allowed to fade away, letting nature reclaim its own. Some of these represent viable restoration projects whilst others are so far gone, or are in such unattractive areas, that they are lost for ever.

However, that doesn't stop a waterways enthusiast from going out armed with antique and modern maps supplemented by Google Earth and tracing what remains today. Sometimes you find just the odd ditch or rise in the ground where a lock once stood, at other times you come across a bricked up archway under a road bridge or maybe a pipe bridge standing  forlorn and isolated on the edge of a car park. Then there are the unexpected discoveries - a section returned to water as a pond or maybe a perfectly preserved flight of locks in the midst of dense woodland. You never know what you will find.

These posts are not about restoration projects, or deep historical reviews of the canals in question. They merely attempt to seek out the old lines of canals and record them in pictures and words as they looked at the time of my visit.

I hope you enjoy following my explorations, particularly those in and around the Black Country where photos of car parks and service roads leave a lot to the imagination! I am not infallible. If you find mistakes leave a comment and our knowledge will grow together.

The following links will take you to to the first page of a particular lost canal, which then includes links to subsequent posts in the series.


Anson Branch - BCN Walsall (3 posts) December 2009
Avery Loop - BCN (1 post) November 2011
Aylsham Navigation - Norfolk (15 posts) November 2009
Bentley Canal - BCN Wednesbury (8 posts) December 2009
Boshboil, Bumblehole and Park Head - BCN Dudley (5 posts) October 2010
Bradley Loop and locks - BCN Tipton (6 posts ) December 2010
Cannock Extension Canal - BCN (1post) October 2011
Cape Arm - BCN (2 posts) November 2011
Cemlyn Canal - Feb 2016
Cromford Canal - Derbyshire (13 posts) various 2009
Danks Branch - BCN West Bromwich (3 posts) March 2010
Driffield Navigation - (5 posts) August 2011
Dunkirk Branch (BCN) West Bromwich (1 post) March 2010
Fens Branch - BCN Stourbridge (2 posts) July 2010
Gospel Oak Branch - BCN Tipton (2 posts) December 2010
Haines Branch - BCN West Bromwich (2 posts) 
Hatherton Branch Canal - Cannock (7 posts) February 2010
Lord Hay's Canal - BCN (3 posts) October 2011
Manchester Bolton and Bury - South End (3 posts) April 2010
Newport Canal - Shropshire (11 posts) May 2010
North Walsham and Dilham - Norfolk (5 posts) March 2009
Nottingham Canal mid section - Nottingham (7 posts) 
Nutbrook Canal - (6 posts) May 2016
Ogley Locks (Wyrley & Essington) - BCN (10 posts)
Pensnett Arm - BCN Dudley (4 posts) October 2010
Portway Branch incl Titford Pools BCN Smethwick (2 posts) November 2009
Prees Arm - Llangollen Canal (6 posts) April 2012
Ridgeacre incl Halford, Jesson, Dartmouth - BCN West Bromwich (5 posts) Jan 2010
Sandhill Arm - BCN (3 posts) October 2011
Shrewsbury and Newport Canal - Shropshire (8 posts) July 2010
Slough Arm - BCN (4 posts) October 2011
Somerset Coal Canal - (14 posts) January 2014
Stover Canal - South Devon (5 posts) July 2012
Toll End Communications incl Tipton Green - BCN Tipton (1 post) Nov 2009
Two Locks Line - BCN Dudley (1 post) April 2010
Wednesbury Old Canal - BCN West Bromwich (2 posts) March 2010
Whitmores Arm - BCN (1 post) October 2011
Wyrley Bank Branch - BCN northern section (7 posts) November 2009