Exploring Telford

The Old Canal System

Site contents © Richard Foxcroft 1996-2002

Trench to Wappenshall

From the bottom of the Trench Inclined Plane, next to the Blue Pig pub, the canal crossed the site of Trench Lock Interchange, and passed through the grounds of GKN Sankey's works at Hadley Castle. This section of the canal was in use until well into this century, and was the subject of restoration work some years ago (sorry, I can't be precise), and the line of it can clearly be seen on the current 1:25,000 OS map. There is a fascinating disused lock at Hadley Park Bridge, on the Silkin Way between Hadley Park Road and Hadley Park Roundabout. This was a "guillotine" lock, with a rising gate instead of the usual hinged type.

From there you can walk along the canal to the Queensway on a modern tarmac path.

The canal crosses Queensway next to an electricity substation. Once across Queensway, and right on the Telford boundary, there is another stretch, even more overgrown and lined with trees, to Humbers Lane. Hidden in the trees are a bridge and two more locks, and at the Humbers Lane end there is water, and the canal seems to be used for watering cattle.

The stretch between Humbers Lane and Wappenshall is lost. A storm drain for Telford, approaching Wappenshall from Leegomery Roundabout, takes over the canal just before Wappenshall, so there is a modern sluice there, instead of a historical lock!

The road at Wappenshall has been realigned, and the old road bridge stands in the garden of Wharf House (which is modern), its arch almost buried in the bushes at the side of the new road. What appears to be the canal, north of the road, is a diversion and part of the drain: the canal ran where Wharf House now has its lawn, and the house itself stands on the wharf. The junction is at the back of the house, the earlier branch going north-west towards Shrewsbury, and the right, built later to connect the Shrewsbury canal to the rest of the national network, forming a right turn for traffic from Trench and leading due east.

The owners of Wharf House told me that Bridge House, next door, was a toll house, and the next house a hostel (for canal boat workers, or for canal passengers?), and allowed me to photograph the road bridge and junction roving bridge from their garden.

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Wrockwardine Wood to Trench
Wappenshall to Norbury Junction
Wappenshall to Shrewsbury
Bits, Speculations and References to other things
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Exploring Telford