Dudley No1 Canal, Park Head Locks

8 05 2011

Again with the reluctant greyhound in tow we headed off see what another section of canal had to offer.  Parking up at the Blackbrook industrial estate we crossed the Peartree Lane and joined the canal at Park Head Number 4 Lock.  The lock sits adjacent to the Blowers Green pump house, now used as a base for the Dudley Canal Trust.  By virtue of subsidence, the lock is the deepest on the BCN network with a rise of 12 feet.  Originally there were five locks but subsidence due to adjacent mining works caused the walls of the fifth lock to collapse.  Rather than rebuild this, the fourth lock was simply deepened to save cost.

Blowers Green marks the junction of the Dudley Number 2 canal which, when walking north past number 4 lock, branches off to the right towards Windmill End to the south.  Firstly we walked northwards up past the three further locks with a beautiful lock cottage and out buildings just next to lock number three.  The canal then passes under a now disused railway viaduct and opens out into a wide parkland area, from where Park Head locks get their eponymous title. On the right is the Grazebrook Arm and on the left a small basin – the remainder of the Pensnett Canal, also know as Lord Ward’s Canal after the Earl of Dudley who was responsible for its construction.  After just a few hundred meters we found ourselves at the southern portal of the Dudley Tunnel.  Unlike Netherton, Dudley is not navigable for craft under power and is single channel only.  The dappled sunshine around us certainly added to the sinister darkness which envelopes the tunnel after just a few meters.  Unlike the relatively straight Netherton, the is certainly no light at the end of this tunnel!

This walk continues here

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