The Walsall Canal runs through the industrial centre of the Black Country and today is visited only by the more adventurous boaters. Whilst the scenery is hardly pretty, the remains of Britain’s pioneering manufacturing industries are historically interesting and the canal corridor itself is gradually greening over as the surrounding land becomes redeveloped.
From Ryders Green Junction on the Wednesbury Old Canal, the Walsall Canal runs for 8 miles with 16 locks to Birchills Junction on the Wyrley & Essington Canal. The Wednesbury Old Canal forms the link from the Birmingham Canal at Pudding Green Junction to the top of the 8 Ryders Green Locks which descend from the ‘Birmingham level’ to the ‘Walsall level’ at Great Bridge. Just after the short Ocker Hill Tunnel Branch, now used for moorings, the Tame Valley Canal joins at Tame Valley (or Doe Bank) Junction, providing a through route to the Rushall and Birmingham & Fazeley canals. The short Bradley Branch is now barely navigable and further on the remains of the Anson Branch have been stanked off. At Walsall the Town Arm was the original terminus of the canal and the Walsall Junction Canal rises through 8 locks to the Wyrley & Essington Canal at Birchills Junction on the ‘Wolverhampton level’.
The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Walsall Canal is
length: 70' 11" (21.62 metres)
beam: 7' 4" (2.24 metres)
height: 7' 5" (2.26 metres)
draught: 4' 4" (1.32 metres)