The canal was built to transport coal from the Dudley coalfields to the glass manufacturers around Stourbridge. Although never derelict, the canal fell into serious disrepair by the 1960s, but following a strenuous campaign by IWA and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society, the canal was put into working order by British Waterways with support from work parties led by Graham palmer who went on to form the Waterway Recovery Group.
The canal was reopened in 1967.
The canal connects the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Stourton Junction with the Birmingham Canal Navigations.
The main line runs for 5.25 miles (8.4km) with 20 locks.
The branch from Wordsley Junction to Stourbridge is 1.25 miles (2km) with no locks.