About the Dudley Canal
The original Dudley Canal opened in 1779, essentially as an extension of the Stourbridge Canal making an end-on junction at the bottom of Delph Locks. Both canals suffered punitive tolls from the Staffs & Worcs Canal Company and hence sought a connection to the Birmingham Canals. This resulted in an Act to build Dudley Tunnel, leading to Tipton Junction on the Birmingham Canal Old Main Line, which opened in 1792. The subsequent building of the branch canal to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal through Lapal Tunnel lead to the original canal being known as the Dudley No 1 Canal and the branch as the No 2 Canal. The Dudley Canals became part of the Birmingham Canals Navigation in 1845 and were further developed, particularly through the building of the higher capacity Netherton Tunnel on a parallel line to Dudley Tunnel.
From Park Head Junction with the Dudley No 2 Canal above Blowers Green Lock the three Park Head Locks climb to the southern portal of Dudley Tunnel. The stubs of the un-navigable Pensnett Canal and Grazebrook Arm join at the top of Park head Locks. Dudley Tunnel is 3,154 yards long, with an additional system of underground waterways running into basins and natural caverns in the limestone. It is of restricted gauge and engines are not permitted, hence it is used by very few boats. The Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust will supervise legging or provide a free towing service with their electric tug.