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Stourbridge Town Arm Canal Heritage Walk

An attractive short heritage walk along the Stourbridge Town Arm canal towpath.

Walk

Location

Stourbridge

Distance

0.7 miles (1.2 km)

Ease

Leisurely

activity image

This short walk is rich with local artefacts that tell the story of the Stourbridge Canal.

We have included some examples of hidden heritage along the way and the stories behind them.

At the end you can continue further along the canal for a longer walk (1.25 miles / 2km) or turn around and return to the start point.

Walk details

Surface

Reasonable, rough in places.

Accessibility

The walks are relatively flat so can be excellent for people whose mobility isn’t good.

Parking

Stourbridge Town Arm Canal Walk Map

Find directions to the Activity

Begin the walk

1. Stourbridge Bonded Warehouse

The walk starts near Stourbridge town centre at the Bonded Warehouse.

The Grade II listed building was restored and reopened in 2000.

It is now a managed building supporting many organisations.

2. Moorings associated with the Bonded Warehouse

Along the moorings associated with the Bonded Warehouse you will see iron dovetailed wharf edgings, indicating how well used it was in its commercial hay day.

These were probably produced in the adjacent ironworks founded by John Bradley in 1789 on land between the canal and the River Stour.

3. The footbridge

Further along we see the footbridge over the arm which originally ran into the John Bradley works.

Interestingly, this was cast at Coalbrookdale rather than in the adjacent works, presumably because this concentrated on the manufacture or iron hoops and bars at the time.

4. Foster Rastrick Works

Following John Bradley’s death the business was taken over by James Foster who then went into a partnership with John Rastrick and started to manufacture steam engines.

The Foster Rastrick works have been restored as the Lion Health Centre which can be seen from the canal towpath across the River Stour.

5. Base of a crane

In 1828 the Foster Rastrick works constructed two famous engines, ‘Agenoria’ which ran on the nearby Pensett railway, now in the York Railway Museum and ‘Stourbridge Lion’ which became the first steam engine in the US, now in the Smithsonian Institute.

The base of a crane can clearly be seen adjacent to the wharf, it is likely that the engines were taken on temporary tracks to the canal and loaded in parts onto canal boats for transport.

6. Weir into the River Stour

The wharf here would have been very busy and included its own drydock for maintenance of the works boats, no longer easily seen but the adjacent weir running into the River Stour is still intact.

The River Stour was navigable from the River Severn up to Stourbridge a century before the canal was constructed and some remains can be seen along its route.

7. Coalbournbrook Bridge

Further along the towpath we come to the Coalbournbrook Bridge and it can clearly be seen that this bridge has been widened.

This was done in 1900 to take the Kinver Light Railway which ran from the close by Fish Inn.

The light railway became very popular taking people on a day out to Kinver via a route which partially ran close to the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.

Heritage Walk Complete

At the bridge you can choose to continue further along the canal until you reach the junction with the Stourbridge Canal for a longer walk (1.25 miles / 2km) or turn around and return to the start point.

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