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British Industrial History

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Birmingham Canal Navigations

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Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) is a network of navigable canals connecting Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and the eastern part of the Black Country. The BCN is connected to the rest of the English canal system at several junctions.

At its working peak, the BCN contained about 160 miles (257 km) of canals; today just over 100 miles (160 km) are navigable

Under the supervision of James Brindley the first canal to be built in the area was the Birmingham Canal, built from 1768 to 1772. The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, from Birmingham to Tamworth, followed in 1784.

The BCN is built on three main levels, each with its own reservoirs.

453 ft., the Birmingham Level;
473 ft., the Wolverhampton Level;
408 ft., the Walsall Level.

These levels are linked by locks at various places on the network.

1901 owned the only existing engine of two built by James Watt in 1776. Having been in use for 120 years it was removed in 1898 to the Canal Station at Tipton as a monument [1]

In 1908 the Birmingham Canal Navigations company (of Paradise Street, Birmingham) had a perpetual guarantee from the London and North Western Railway that the dividends on the ordinary stock shall not be less than 4 per cent, per annum. [2]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Fielden’s Magazine Vol 4
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908

[1] wikipedia