Netherton Tunnel History

Netherton Tunnel History

The Canal Tunnel at Netherton, opened on 20 August in 1858, and was the last tunnel to be built in the canal making era, (and it was to be some 126 years later that a newer tunnel was constructed at nearby Dudley in 1984).

The Dudley Tunnel was taking too long to navigate due to congestion and as a result, the Netherton Tunnel was created as an alternative route.

The Netherton Tunnel was a grand affair with a towpath on either side and was unique in having gas lighting which was later converted to electricity which is now disconnected.

The tunnel is the widest canal tunnel including towpaths at 27 feet at water level although at 17 foot the width of water was not the widest.

The tunnel is 3027 yards long and cost about £302,000 to build. It was necessary to impose a toll as the budget of £238,000 had been exceeded due in the main to having to overcome engineering difficulties caused by mining activity in the area.

The Black Country is riddled with old mine workings which in many cases are uncharted (A major problem when in due course Motorways were built in the area) and indeed, in 1894 the Dudley Canal was closed for a considerable time when a length fell into mine workings.

Narrowboat emerging from southern end of NetheronTunnel Narrowboat emerging from southern end of Netherton Tunnel

150 Year Celebrations of Tunnel opening

The Dudley Tunnel and boat trip

Hoseasons Boating Holidays

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Canals of Birmingham and Central England