Exploring Telford

The Old Canal System

Site contents © Richard Foxcroft 1996-2002

Hollinswood to Oakengates

All of this section is guesswork. One end is given by the position of the path along the top of Randlay Pool; the other, not very precisely, by the known former existence of a tunnel under Holyhead Road near the Greyhound pub. However, it appears clearly on the Wrockwardine Wood Parish map. This map clearly predates both the railway and Telford's realignment of the London - Holyhead road. Comparison of the line with the David and Charles map shows that the railway followed the canal through this section as far as the Greyhound, just as it did in the northerly part of the Aqueduct to Hollinswood stretch.

It is possible to postulate a line for the canal which runs just to the west of St Quentin roundabout; follows the contour crossing Dale Acre Way; skirting the back of houses on the west side of Downmead; crossing Dale Acre Way again and going forward more-or-less straight to Hollinsgate Roundabout. From there, there is one route through the pass between Ketley Bank and Snedshill, and everything in history follows it: the canal, a railway built over it and another one still in use, and roads ancient and modern. Where, under all this tarmac, was the canal? Your guess is as good as mine.

There was a tunnel under Snedshill. Before that point, the now-lost railway, which replaced the canal, crossed over the other, still working, Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury line. The tunnel used by both canal and railway must have passed under Telford's later Holyhead Road; the railway then beginning its descent and passing under Canongate through the bridge which remains there, but the canal following the contour more to the east and crossing Canongate where the Queensway now does so.

The maps suggests it ran east of the Greyhound pub, and the junction for the Ketley arm would have been near Canongate. The Ketley arm may have crossed Lion Street where there is a white gate in a wall at the top, just below the Greyhound.

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Ketley branch
Main arm to Wrockwardine Wood
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Exploring Telford