Worcester & Birmingham Canal


The Worcester & Birmingham Canal is a great work of ambitious engineering. This volume, generously illustrated with sketches and original maps, takes a fresh look at late 18th Century canal cutting. 


A desire to link Birmingham, the River Severn at Worcester and the port of Bristol, led to the cutting of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal (WBC), between 1791 and 1815.


The Committee minutes, recorded in the logbooks of the WBC Company, are an insight into the slow beginnings, progress and development of the endeavour. They detail the decisions that were made to carry the project forward and the names of those important few who designed, engineered or administered the canal. The names of the majority, whose sweat and indeed blood were shed to dig the waterway, are significantly missing.


However, the existence and functioning of the many formidable engineering achievements, such as the embankments, the deep cuttings and the tunnels more than two hundred years after their creation is testimony to the energy and the spirit of this often difficult group of men who dug the canal.


A picture slowly emerges from these Proceedings of a great work of ambitious engineering, which swept along the line with an energy and vigour before unknown in the communities through which it was driven. The enterprise was to herald changes, which in the following century would transform irrevocably the commercial opportunities, the employment and the lifestyle of many living and working along the route of the waterway.




Published: Birmingham 2015
Binding: Hardback
Size: [H] 304mm x [W] 216mm
Illustrations: 36 sketches, 18 maps
Pages: 96
ISBN: 978-0-9933937-0-9