The Stratford-on-Avon Canal - Kings Norton Junction to Brandwood Tunnel.
One end of The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal starts at Kings Norton Junction where it meets The Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Kings Norton is a really nice peaceful area with it's nice old Junction Bridge 72, a beautifuly made old brick warehouse and additionally several seats along the grassy areas which are just right for stopping off for a lunch break or picnic. Several cycle routes intersect at the junction - by using the Worcester Canal's towpath the centre of Birmingham is only about 6 miles away in one direction and Worcester around 25 miles away in the other.
Right at the head of Kings Norton Junction is the fairly large Junction House - it's noticeboard makes interesting reading concerning toll and cargo charges in effect in 1894. For instance tonnage per mile of Lime at 1/2d, manure, bricks tile and stone at 3/4d, cattle, sheep and pigs were 1-1/2d and on top of this a charge of 1d per mile per boat.
Kings Norton Junction.
Junction Bridge 72.
Junction Bridge 72.
Stratford-upon-Avon Canal double guillotine stop lock Around 200 yards along from the start of the canal there is a quite rare and nicely preserved stop lock. These type of canal locks were used to control water flow
between canals owned by different companies - water was a valuable commodity. The guillotine stop lock mechanism is still there and shows the gearings, chains and
iron gantry as well as the oak "guillotines" at each end of the lock.
Warehouse by the Jcn..
Bridge 1 and stoplock.
guillotine double stoplock.
Site of swing bridge.
Brandwood Tunnel (W)
Brandwood Tunnel (E)
Brandwood Tunnel and The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal.
Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres in length and wide enough to be able to take two way narrowboat traffic - the size of barge it can accommodate is maximum 2.13 metres Beam and 2.1 metres Air draft.
There is no towpath within the tunnel - before the days of mechanically powered barges boatmen pulled their narrowboats and barges through by using the iron hand-railings which were built into the tunnel's sides. If cycling or walking along the canal you have to divert up into Brandwood End. Although it's just a short distance you have to use a side road and then cross a major road.
Where several other main roads also meet (there are pedestrian lights) nothing is marked re where the way to the towpath is. From the West Portal walk up to the road - turn left and then go right on a path which cuts across grass to the main road. Go across the road and then shortly bear left down a path on the right and this takes you back onto the towpath.
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