Stourbridge Canal, Dudley, West Midlands (2. The Bonded Warehouse)
Royal Geographical Society
2. The Bonded WarehouseFénykép: Society Royal Geographical, Royal Geographical Society
Look over the wall of the small car park and we will see the River Stour. In the seventeenth century an engineer named Andrew Yarranton tried to make the river navigable. A major flood destroyed Yarranton’s navigation, so there wasn’t a navigable waterway in the area until the arrival of the canal in 1779. Opposite the warehouse you can see the Stourbridge Canal Company Offices. The Stourbridge Canal is only 5 miles long and was built to bring coal from Dudley. It also provides a connection from Birmingham to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and on to the River Severn. The canal once continued a short way to a basin which served an ironworks but this was filled in in the 1970s. Now look at the Bonded Warehouse, with its distinctive semi-circular end wall. Can you see its heavy door and barred windows? It was built in 1799 to hold goods such as tea, tobacco and spirits. High value goods like these were taxable and held in secure or ‘Bonded’ warehouses. This building lay derelict for many years. Thanks to the Stourbridge Navigation Trust it was rescued and is now used for community events. We will see more examples of canal restoration along the walk. Directions Continue along Canal Street for about 100 metres until you reach a solitary derelict white house on your left.
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