Stourbridge Canal, Dudley, West Midlands (9. Chubb’s Bridge)
Royal Geographical Society
9. Chubb’s BridgeFénykép: Society Royal Geographical, Royal Geographical Society
One is the Kidderminster Conglomerates, also known as the Bunter Pebble Beds. They are a type of sandstone that contains rounded pebbles. The other rock is dune sandstone, which formed from ancient sand dunes. Look at the opposite bank and you can see the sandstone clearly exposed. Local sand extracted from this rock would have been used by the iron makers for the casting process. Early glassmakers would probably have used it too but the sand was not pure enough for high quality crystal glass. The most common form of glass is called soda-lime glass which uses sand and soda ash together with lime. Soda ash, like potash, is an alkali flux that reduces the melting point of the mix. In 1674 George Ravenscroft took out a patent for Lead Glass or Lead Crystal. Introducing lead oxide created a higher quality clear glass, good for cutting and engraving. Stourbridge glassmakers came to specialise in this ‘lead glass’. It needed higher quality sand, which was imported from Leighton Buzzard, King’s Lynn and even the continent. Chubb's Bridge was once surrounded by glass cones. It would have served Canalside Glassworks just opposite the Old Dial. Beyond the bridge, on other side of the canal was the Stourbridge Glass Company, which later became Tudor Crystal. Directions Continue along the towpath for about 150 metres. Stop by a row of cottages on the left just before a modern bridge.
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