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Coventry Canal Route map
legend
Unknown route-map component "uLockl" Unknown route-map component "uJUNCa" Unknown route-map component "uLockl"
Fradley Junction - Trent and Mersey Canal
Urban straight track
-- Coventry Canal (detached section)
Unknown route-map component "uSWING"
Fradley Swingbridge
Waterway under minor road
New Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Fradley Estate Access Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Fradley Bridge
Waterway under major road
Bell Bridge/A38 road
Waterway with pumping station or building on left
Brookhay Pumping Station
Waterway under minor road
Fradley Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Bears Hay Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Streethay Bridge
Waterway with marina/wharf on right
Streethay Wharf
Waterway under railway bridge
Cross-City Line
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
King's Orchard Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Stoney Step Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Plough Bridge
Waterway under railway bridge
Trent Valley Line
Unknown route-map component "ugSTRq" Unknown route-map component "uHWHARF" Waterway T-junction to right
Huddlesford Junction - Lichfield Canal
Waterway under track or footbridge
Huddlesford Foot Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Bowmans Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Cheadles Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Burton Road Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Urban straight track
-- Coventry Canal (detached) above
Unknown route-map component "uGRENZE"
Whittington Brook
Urban straight track
-- Birmingham and Fazeley-built canal below
Waterway under minor road
Whittington Bridge
Waterway under major road
Hopwas Hill Bridge/A51 road
Unknown route-map component "uWHARF"
Hopwas
Waterway under major road
A5 road
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Waterway with marina/wharf on right
Peel's Wharf
Urban transverse track Waterway T-junction to right
Fazeley Junction - Birmingham and Fazeley Canal
Urban straight track
-- Coventry Main Line Canal below
Waterway under track or footbridge
Junction Footbridge
Waterway under minor road
Tamworth Road Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uWBRÜCKE"
Tame Aqueduct
Waterway under major road
A5 road
Waterway under minor road
Kettlebrook Bridge
Waterway under railway bridge
Cross Country Route
Unknown route-map component "uLOCKSd"
Glascote Locks x2
Waterway under minor road
Anchor Bridge/Glascote Road
Waterway under minor road
Amington Road Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Gate Inn Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Hodge Lane Bridge
Waterway with marina/wharf on right
Alvecote Marina
Waterway under minor road
Hodge Lane Bridge
Waterway under motorway
M42 motorway
Waterway under minor road
Polesworth Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Polesworth (Mill Bridge)
Waterway under railway bridge
Trent Valley Line
Waterway under minor road
Limekiln Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Bradley Green Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uLOCKSd"
Atherstone Bottom Locks 10-11
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Whitley Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uLOCKSd"
Locks 8-9
Waterway under minor road
Baddesley Bridge (Whittington Lane)
Waterway under railway bridge
Trent Valley Line
Unknown route-map component "uLock3"
Lock 7
Waterway with marina/wharf on right
Baddesley Basin
Waterway under minor road
Holly Lane Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uLock3"
Lock 6
Waterway under major road
A5 road
Unknown route-map component "uKRZuw"
Watling Street Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uLOCKSd"
Atherstone Top Locks 1-5
Waterway with marina/wharf on right
Hartshill Wharf
Waterway under railway bridge
Birmingham to Peterborough Line
Waterway under minor road
Vernons Lane
Waterway under minor road
Wash Lane Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Boot Bridge
Waterway under major road
A444
Waterway under railway bridge
Coventry to Nuneaton Line
Waterway under minor road
Wharf Inn Bridge/Coventry Road
Waterway under minor road
Donnithorne Ave
Unknown route-map component "ugSTRq" Waterway with unused unwatered canal T-junction to right
Griff Arm
Waterway under minor road
Gipsy Lane
Unknown route-map component "uJUNCld" Urban transverse track
Marston Junction/Ashby Canal
Unknown route-map component "uDOCKl" Waterway T-junction to right
Charity Dock
Waterway under minor road
Marston Lane
Waterway under minor road
Bedworth/Bulkington Roads
Waterway under track or footbridge
Bedworth Hill Bridge
Urban straight track Waterway turning from left
Waterway under track or footbridge Waterway under track or footbridge
Junction Footbridge
Pumping station Unknown route-map component "uJUNCld" Waterway turning to right
Hawkesbury Junction/Oxford Canal
Waterway under track or footbridge
Exhall Footbridge
Waterway with marina/wharf on right
Exhall Basin
Waterway under minor road
Coney Lane Bridge
Waterway under motorway
M6 motorway
Unknown route-map component "uxgJUNCld"
Longford Junction
Waterway under minor road
Longford Bridge
Waterway under track or footbridge
Longford Footbridge
Waterway under track or footbridge
Judds Lane Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uSTRfl"
Ricoh Arena
Waterway under minor road
New Inn Bridge/Longford Road
Waterway under track or footbridge
Little Heath Factory Footbridge
Waterway under minor road
Old Church Road Bridge
Waterway under major road
Phoenix Way (A444)
Waterway under minor road
Navigation Bridge/Stoney Stanton Road
Unknown route-map component "uTUNNEL1"
Heath Crescent Tunnel (334 yrds)
Waterway under minor road
Red Lane Old Bridge
Waterway under minor road
Red Lane New Bridge
Waterway with marina/wharf on left
Stoke Heath Basin
Waterway under minor road
Priestley's Bridge/Stoney Stanton Road
Waterway under minor road
William Henry Bridge/Foleshill Road
Waterway under minor road
Cash's Lane Bridge
Unknown route-map component "uSTRfl"
Cash's Hundred Houses
Unknown route-map component "uDOCKg"
Canal Basin, Coventry
Coventry Canal near Fradley
Coventry Canal viewed looking west from Foleshill Rd, near Matlock Rd.

The Coventry Canal is a navigable narrow canal in the Midlands of England.

It starts in Coventry and ends 38 miles (65 km) north at Fradley Junction, just north of Lichfield, where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal. It also has connections with the Oxford Canal, the Ashby Canal, and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.

Some maps show the canal as a northern and a southern section, connected by a stretch of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, but others show the through route all as the Coventry Canal. This reflects a complicated period of ownership and re-leasing when the Coventry Canal company was in financial difficulties during construction.

It runs through or past the towns of Bedworth, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Polesworth and Tamworth. It is navigable for boats up to 21.9 m (72 ft) length, 2.1 m (7 ft) beam and 1.98 m (6 ft 6) headroom. It forms part of the Warwickshire ring.

Contents

Route in Detail

The canal starts at Coventry Canal Basin. The basin was opened in 1769 and expanded in 1788. It is situated just north of Coventry City Centre and just outside the city's inner ring road. Many of the buildings and the site were restored between 1993 and 1995. The Canal Bridge, Canal House and the warehouses are grade II listed buildings. All boats going in and out of Coventry Canal Basin have to pass through the Canal Bridge.

From the canal basin, the canal meanders north through Coventry passing under many road bridges including prominent hump-back bridges under the Foleshill Road, Foleshill through Little Heath and the Longford Road, Longford.

Hawkesbury Junction

Five miles north of Coventry, at Hawkesbury Junction, a superbly preserved iron bridge crosses the start of the Oxford Canal, which journeys southwards to join the River Thames at Oxford. At Hawkesbury Junction there are some fascinating buildings from the working days of the canal, and the Greyhound pub is a traditional stop for boaters. Hawkesbury Junction is also known to regular boaters as Sutton Stop, though strictly this refers to the stop lock, a short distance along the Oxford Canal.

A few miles north of Hawkesbury, just outside Bedworth, is Marston Junction, where the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal starts its meandering, rural and lock-free journey towards the former coal mines at Moira; although it is now navigable only for 22 miles to Snarestone.

From Marston Junction, the Coventry canal runs north-west through Nuneaton, Atherstone and Polesworth, to Tamworth.

In a suburb of Tamworth, at Fazeley Junction, boaters can turn west towards Birmingham along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

The Coventry canal continues northwards to end at Fradley Junction where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal. From Fazeley to a point halfway to Fradley, maps show the canal as the "Birmingam, and Fazeley canal" (see History).

History

Coventry Canal: view to the north from Cash's Lane Bridge, Coventry.

The Coventry Canal Company was formed in 1768. James Brindley was commissioned to build the canal, and work started on it in December that year. Due to the high standards of construction demanded by Brindley, the canal company ran out of money by the time the canal had reached Atherstone in 1769, and Brindley was replaced by Thomas Yeoman.

Thomas Dadford advised on the Canal's aqueduct over the River Tame (now known as Tame Aqueduct) in 1784 and in June 1785, Thomas Sheasby was awarded the contract to connect the Coventry Canal to the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Although the canal reached the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal at Fazeley, the final Parliament-approved stretch to the Trent and Mersey at Fradley was not finished until 1789.

The Trent and Mersey company, and the Birmingham and Fazeley company, anxious to allow through traffic from Birmingham to the Trent and Mersey canal, gained permission to complete and operate the approved but unbuilt section from Fazeley to Fradley. The B&F worked North from Fazeley, and the T&M worked south from Fradley. The full length from Coventry to Fradley was opened in 1789.

The middle section remained part of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, but the Coventry Canal company later bought the northern section, nowadays sometimes referred to as Coventry Canal (detached portion).

Operation

The Coventry canal was a vital trade artery for many years. In particular, it was part of the Birmingham-London route via the B&F Canal, Coventry Canal, Oxford Canal, and River Thames.

When the Grand Junction Canal and some smaller companies (which much later merged to form the Grand Union Canal company) opened a direct rival route from Birmingham to London, via Warwick, Napton, Braunston, and Bletchley, trade still remained high on the Coventry. This was partly because of the work done by the Oxford company to shorten its route north of Braunston, and because Grand Junction traffic using the Braunston/Fazeley route avoided the high tolls charged by the Oxford canal company on its Braunston-Napton section (which was also part of the new route).

The Coventry paid a dividend right up to 1947, and remained navigable to the present day.

It was nationalised in 1948 being operated first by the British Transport Board and then by the British Waterways Board, the forerunners of British Waterways.

In 1957, Coventry Canal Society was established to promote the proper use and maintenance of the canal, and to protect its interests. The canal acts as a base to Mercia Canoe Club, which is part of Coventry Canal Society.

Features

Point Coordinates
Fradley Junction 52°43′25″N 1°47′36″W / 52.7236°N 1.7934°W / 52.7236; -1.7934 (Fradley Junction)
Bell bridge (A38/Ryknild Street) 52°42′41″N 1°45′57″W / 52.7113°N 1.7658°W / 52.7113; -1.7658 (Bell bridge)
Huddlesford Junction 52°40′59″N 1°46′37″W / 52.6831°N 1.7769°W / 52.6831; -1.7769 (Huddlesford Junction)
Fazeley Junction 52°36′55″N 1°42′04″W / 52.6154°N 1.7010°W / 52.6154; -1.7010 (Fazeley Junction)
Tame Aqueduct 52°37′03″N 1°41′31″W / 52.6176°N 1.6920°W / 52.6176; -1.6920 (Tame Aqueduct)
Glascote Basin 52°38′10″N 1°38′08″W / 52.6362°N 1.6356°W / 52.6362; -1.6356 (Glascote Basin)
Baddesley Basin 52°35′00″N 1°33′40″W / 52.5832°N 1.5612°W / 52.5832; -1.5612 (Baddesley Basin)
Mill Bridge (Polesworth) 52°36′57″N 1°37′00″W / 52.6158°N 1.6167°W / 52.6158; -1.6167 (Mill Bridge)
Atherstone Top Lock 52°34′29″N 1°33′03″W / 52.5748°N 1.5509°W / 52.5748; -1.5509 (Atherstone Top Lock)
Marston Junction 52°29′25″N 1°27′33″W / 52.4902°N 1.4592°W / 52.4902; -1.4592 (Marston Junction)
Hawkesbury Junction 52°27′28″N 1°28′08″W / 52.4578°N 1.4690°W / 52.4578; -1.4690 (Hawkesbury Junction)
Coventry Canal Basin 52°24′48″N 1°30′43″W / 52.4134°N 1.5120°W / 52.4134; -1.5120 (Coventry Basin)

See also

References

External links

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