The Tame Valley Canal is a relatively late (1844) canal in the West Midlands of England. It forms part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations. It takes its name from the roughly-parallel River Tame.

Perry Barr top lock and keepers cottage No 86, seen in 2007
Tame Valley Canal
Tame Valley Junction (Doe Bank Junction), Walsall Canal
A41 road
Aqueduct over River Tame
South Staffordshire line at Golds Hill Wharf
West Midlands Metro
A4031 (Walsall Road)
Hateley Heath Aqueduct (over Hydes Road)
Navigation Lane aqeduct
Grand Junction Aqueduct over Chase line
and Tame Bridge Parkway station
Aqueduct over M5 motorway slip road
Aqueduct over River Tame
Toll island
Rushall Junction, Rushall Canal
M5 motorway slip road
A4041 (Newton Road)
Chimney Bridge, Green Lane (iron footbridge, 1844)
Gorse Farm (Hamstead Wharf) bridge
Pier island near Hamstead Wharf
Spouthouse Lane aqueduct
Piercy aqueduct
Freeth bridge (Tower Hill bridge) (now footbridge)
A34 road
Perry Barr locks 1, 2 and lock-keepers' cottages
Perry Barr Locks Bridge (cast iron footbridge, 1841-1844)
Perry Barr locks 3-7
Perry Reservoir (underground pipe)
M6 motorway
Perry Barr locks 8-9
Perry Barr Wharf (site of)
Perry Barr locks 10
A453 road
Perry Barr lock 11
A4040 road
Perry Barr lock 12
Perry Barr lock 13
A38(M) motorway and Gravelly Hill Interchange
Cross-City Line
Toll island↑
End of Tame Valley Canal
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (to Birmingham), Salford Junction
Grand Union Canal, Salford Junction
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (to Fazeley)
↑ = section under Gravelly Hill Interchange

Geography edit

The canal runs from Tame Valley Junction where it joins the Walsall Canal near Ocker Hill and Toll End, and terminates at Salford Junction where it meets the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal and the Grand Union Canal. It is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long and has twin towpaths throughout.

Between Tame Valley Junction and Rushall Junction it goes under the West Midlands Metro near Wednesbury and crosses over the former Grand Junction Railway (now part of the Chase Line) by aqueduct, near Tame Bridge Parkway railway station (an unusual case of the railway pre-dating a neighbouring canal).

It passes over the M5 motorway near the interchange with the M6 motorway (M6 junction 8) and joins the Rushall Canal at Rushall Junction, inside the triangle formed by the motorway junction. East of Rushall Junction the canal passes under another arm of the M5. At Hamstead the remains of a wharf can be seen, This served the former Hamstead Colliery. Further east, there are two more aqueducts (Spouthouse Lane and Piercy, the latter over the Old Walsall Road), and a deep cutting in 200-million-year-old sandstone, under Freeth Bridge (now restricted to pedestrians and bikes only) at Tower Hill. There are no locks on this section, which is at the Walsall Level, but it passes over eight aqueducts within five miles (seven of which are original).

The thirteen Perry Barr Locks, where the level drops 106 feet, start just beyond the A34. The original lock keepers cottages remain. Between locks 1 (the top lock) and 2 the canal is crossed by the Grade II listed Perry Barr Locks Bridge,[1] a cast-iron foot bridge with brick pillars, dating from 1844. In the adjacent Perry Park, after lock 7 and near Alexander Stadium, is Perry Reservoir[a], a 27,300 m3 (35,700 cu yd) feeder reservoir completed in 1880[2] and fed by Holbrook, a tributary of the Tame that rises near Barr Beacon. From there, the canal passes under the M6, and then down the remaining Perry Barr locks. Between locks nine and ten is the site of Perry Barr Wharf, extant in the 1950s but now filled in. The canal passes under the M6 twice more, including Gravelly Hill Interchange (Spaghetti Junction), shortly after which it terminates, at Salford Junction.

History edit

1901 map showing the former canal basin at Hamstead

The canal was authorised by Act of Parliament in 1839 and built by the Birmingham Canal Navigations. Construction started in 1841 and it opened on Wednesday 14 February 1844.[3] Its engineers were James Walker and Alfred Burges the company engineers.[4] The resident engineer was Mr. Horne, the contractors were Treadwell, Jackson and Bean for the principal part of the works, and Mr. Townshend for the portion near Tipton.[4]

Features edit

Point Image Coordinates
(Links to map resources)
OS Grid Ref Notes
Tame Valley Junction   52°32′24″N 2°02′07″W / 52.5400°N 2.0354°W / 52.5400; -2.0354 (Tame Valley Junction) SO976936 0.0 miles
A41 road 52°32′24″N 2°02′06″W / 52.5401°N 2.0349°W / 52.5401; -2.0349 (A41Tower Bridge - Tame Valley Canal - panoramio.jpg) SO977936
Gold Hill Wharf (approx, site of) 52°32′28″N 2°01′40″W / 52.5412°N 2.0278°W / 52.5412; -2.0278 (Gold Hill Wharf (approx, site of)) SO981937 0.4
Midland Metro   52°32′34″N 2°01′08″W / 52.5429°N 2.0188°W / 52.5429; -2.0188 (Midland Metro) SO987939 0.7
Holloway Bank Wharf (site of) 52°32′42″N 2°00′40″W / 52.545°N 2.011°W / 52.545; -2.011 (Holloway Bank Wharf (site of)) SO992941 1.0
Chase Line crossing 52°33′04″N 1°58′30″W / 52.5512°N 1.9750°W / 52.5512; -1.9750 (Chase Line crossing) SP016948 2.7
M5 motorway aqueduct (west arm) 52°33′06″N 1°58′17″W / 52.5517°N 1.9713°W / 52.5517; -1.9713 (M5 motorway aqueduct(west arm)) SP019949 2.9
River Tame   52°33′05″N 1°57′58″W / 52.5513°N 1.9661°W / 52.5513; -1.9661 (River Tame) SP022948 3.1
Rushall Junction 52°33′01″N 1°57′23″W / 52.5504°N 1.9565°W / 52.5504; -1.9565 (Rushall Junction) SP029947 3.5
M5 motorway (east arm) 52°32′59″N 1°57′20″W / 52.5498°N 1.9555°W / 52.5498; -1.9555 (M5 motorway (east arm)) SP030947 3.6
High Bridges, Newton Road (A4041) 52°32′38″N 1°56′54″W / 52.5438°N 1.94832°W / 52.5438; -1.94832 (High Bridges, Newton Road (A4041)) SP035940 4.0
Original bridge replaced circa 1967, when the road was made a dual carriageway
Chimney Bridge 52°32′34″N 1°56′50″W / 52.5427°N 1.9471°W / 52.5427; -1.9471 (Chimney Bridge) SP035939 4.1
Hamstead Wharf and basin (site of) 52°32′20″N 1°56′25″W / 52.5389°N 1.9403°W / 52.5389; -1.9403 (Hamstead Wharf and basin (site of)) SP038936 4.4
Spouthouse Lane Aqueduct   52°32′15″N 1°56′06″W / 52.5374°N 1.9349°W / 52.5374; -1.9349 (Spouthouse Lane Aqueduct) SP044933 4.7
Piercy Aqueduct 52°32′10″N 1°55′49″W / 52.5360°N 1.9302°W / 52.5360; -1.9302 (Piercy Aqueduct) SP047931 5.0
Freeth Bridge   52°31′59″N 1°55′13″W / 52.5331°N 1.9203°W / 52.5331; -1.9203 (Freeth Bridge) SP054928 5.4
A34 road 52°31′57″N 1°54′56″W / 52.5326°N 1.9155°W / 52.5326; -1.9155 (A34) SP057927 5.6
Perry Barr Top Lock (1)   52°31′57″N 1°54′52″W / 52.5326°N 1.9144°W / 52.5326; -1.9144 (Perry Barr Top Lock (1)) SP061927 5.6
Perry Barr Lock 2 52°31′58″N 1°54′45″W / 52.5327°N 1.9126°W / 52.5327; -1.9126 (Perry Barr Lock 2) SP059928 5.7
Perry Barr Locks Bridge   52°31′57″N 1°54′43″W / 52.5326°N 1.9120°W / 52.5326; -1.9120 (Perry Barr Locks Bridge) SP061928 5.7
Perry Barr Lock 3 52°31′58″N 1°54′39″W / 52.5327°N 1.9109°W / 52.5327; -1.9109 (Perry Barr Lock 3) SP060928 5.8
Perry Barr Lock 4 52°31′58″N 1°54′33″W / 52.5327°N 1.9091°W / 52.5327; -1.9091 (Perry Barr Lock 4) SP061928 5.8
Perry Barr Lock 5 52°31′58″N 1°54′26″W / 52.5328°N 1.9073°W / 52.5328; -1.9073 (Perry Barr Lock 5) SP062928 5.9
Perry Barr Lock 6 52°31′58″N 1°54′20″W / 52.5328°N 1.9056°W / 52.5328; -1.9056 (Perry Barr Lock 6) SP064928 6.0
Perry Barr Lock 7   52°31′58″N 1°54′14″W / 52.5329°N 1.9039°W / 52.5329; -1.9039 (Perry Barr Lock 7) SP065928 6.1
Perry Reservoir 52°31′55″N 1°54′09″W / 52.5320°N 1.9024°W / 52.5320; -1.9024 (Perry Reservoir) SP066927 6.2
M6 motorway   52°31′58″N 1°54′00″W / 52.5328°N 1.9000°W / 52.5328; -1.9000 (M6) SP067928 6.3
Perry Barr Lock 8   52°31′54″N 1°53′46″W / 52.5318°N 1.8961°W / 52.5318; -1.8961 (Perry Barr Lock 8) SP070927 6.4
Perry Barr Lock 9 52°31′51″N 1°53′38″W / 52.5308°N 1.8938°W / 52.5308; -1.8938 (Perry Barr Lock 9) SP072925 6.5
Perry Barr Lock 10 52°31′48″N 1°53′33″W / 52.5301°N 1.8924°W / 52.5301; -1.8924 (Perry Barr Lock 10) SP072925 6.6
Wharf   52°31′48″N 1°53′31″W / 52.5299°N 1.8920°W / 52.5299; -1.8920 (Wharf) SP073924 6.6
College Road Bridge (A453)   52°31′48″N 1°53′31″W / 52.5299°N 1.8920°W / 52.5299; -1.8920 (College Road Bridge (A453)) SP073924 6.6
Perry Barr Lock 11 52°31′43″N 1°53′21″W / 52.5285°N 1.8892°W / 52.5285; -1.8892 (Perry Barr Lock 11) SP075923 6.7
M6 motorway 52°31′22″N 1°52′53″W / 52.5229°N 1.8815°W / 52.5229; -1.8815 (M6 motorway) SP080917 7.2
A4040 road 52°31′11″N 1°52′44″W / 52.5198°N 1.8788°W / 52.5198; -1.8788 (A4040) SP083913
Perry Barr Lock 12 (Witton Locks) 52°30′53″N 1°52′21″W / 52.5148°N 1.8725°W / 52.5148; -1.8725 (Perry Barr Lock 12 (Witton Locks)) SP086908 7.8
Perry Barr Lock 13 (Witton Locks) 52°30′50″N 1°52′16″W / 52.5140°N 1.8712°W / 52.5140; -1.8712 (Perry Barr Lock 13 (Witton Locks)) SP087907 7.9
Cross-City Line 52°30′42″N 1°51′59″W / 52.5118°N 1.8665°W / 52.5118; -1.8665 (Cross-City Line) SP090904 8.2
Gravelly Hill Interchange 52°30′40″N 1°51′55″W / 52.5111°N 1.8652°W / 52.5111; -1.8652 (Gravelly Hill Interchange (Spaghetti Junction)) SP091904 8.4
Lichfield Road (A5127) 52°30′32″N 1°51′37″W / 52.5089°N 1.8603°W / 52.5089; -1.8603 (Lichfield Road (A5127)) SP094901 8.5
Salford Junction   52°30′31″N 1°51′35″W / 52.5087°N 1.8598°W / 52.5087; -1.8598 (Salford Junction (Tame Valley Canal)) SP095901 8.5

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Not to be confused with Perry Barr Reservoir, nor with Perry Hall Playing Fields Flood Detention Reservoir in nearby Perry Park.

References edit

  1. ^ "Perry Barr Locks Bridge, Birmingham - 1234157". Historic England. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  2. ^ Environment Agency public register of Large Raised Reservoirs, as at 2 November 2020, via Boswarva, Owen. "Large Raised Reservoirs". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Postscript". Illustrated London News. England. 24 February 1844. Retrieved 5 September 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ a b "Birmingham Feb. 19, 1844". Aris’s Birmingham Gazette. England. 19 February 1844. Retrieved 5 September 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  • Pearson, Michael (1989). Canal Companion - Birmingham Canal Navigations. J. M. Pearson & Associates. ISBN 0-907864-49-X.

External links edit

52°32′38″N 1°56′54″W / 52.5438°N 1.94832°W / 52.5438; -1.94832