James Brindley’s first major canal, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire, (1768), at the unique Bratch flight of locks at Wombourne, near Wolverhampton.
Bratch Locks are a glorious example of the canal builder’s skills and are unique on Britain’s waterways. They comprise a set of 3 individual locks that are not a ‘staircase’ but are set so close together that it is impossible for boats to pass between the locks. The secret of the operation is the side pounds. Tixall Wide, at the northern end, is an idiosyncratic solution to the local landowner’s condition that his view must not be blighted by a canal. Clifford Thomas, owner of Tixall Hall (now lost) insisted the canal be disguised so instead the line here more resembles a lake than a channel. The northern end of the summit level is marked by Gailey Roundhouse. Built around the 1800s and formerly used by the lock keeper the example at Gailey is the last of these distinctive buildings to remain intact on the SWC. It is now a shop.
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Photo taken in Wombourne, Staffordshire, UK
Misplaced? Suggest new location