A map of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal
The map displays a range of services available on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Simply click the box next to any service being displayed in the Map Key on the left of your screen.
A brief history of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal
|Canal length :||29.6 miles|
|Boat Length :||75ft|
|Height :||8ft ins|
|Width :||7ft 3ins|
|Draught :||3ft 8ins|
The Worcester and Birmingham Canal runs from the centre of Birmingham through beautiful country side to the the heart of the cathedral City of Worcester. The canal is 29.5 miles long with 58 locks. The canal intersects with 2 other canals, meeting the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal at Kings Norton Junction and meeting the Droitwich Canal at Hanbury Junction.
The purpose of the canal was to provide a shorter link between Birmingham and the River Severn. Despite much opposition form the other canal companies, an Act of Parliament was obtained in 1791 for the contsruction of the new canal.
Construction of the canal began at the Birmingham end in 1792. The intention was that the canal would be 14ft wide, suitable for barges. After slow progress, the canal eventually reached Selly Oak by October 1795 and connected to the Stratford-upon-Avon canal at Kings Norton Junction by May 1796.
The construction of the 2726 yard Wast Hills Tunnel was completed in March the following year. By 1807 the canal reached Tardebigge, the site of the first lock. Up until this point the canal was 14ft wide. A total of 58 locks were required between Tardebigge and the Rivern Severn. The cost of creating 58, 14ft wide locks was considered too great so a decision was made to construct 56, 7ft wide locks and the final 2 locks to connect to the River Severn being 14ft wide to allow the river traffic access to the Diglis Basin.
The final 16 mile section was opened in December of 1815.
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