Dunton Wharf

Description of this historic site

The site of a canal wharf known as Dunton Wharf, where vessels would have loaded and unloaded goods. It was built during the Imperial period and was situated 450m north east of Baylis's Bridge.

Notes about this historic site

1 The 1886 OS 6″ map shows a wharf at this location on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. The adjacent bridge is called Dunton Wharf Bridge on later maps. There seems to be a small complex indicated on the map with a basin and buildings. To the south of the canal, on the towpath side, a blocked arm is crossed by a very corroded metal roving bridge. The arm points towards a group of modern industrial buildings. There are also some 19th century cottages but they appear not to be connected with the canal. To the north of the canal is a flat open space, apparently a wharf, but with no sign of anything but modern buildings.
2 The top lock was the first in a flight of eleven locks at Dunton and was of typical construction broardly similar to others in the Canal with single gates at each end, manually operated by lock gate beams. The lock walls were of brick with mainly stone copings. There is evidence to suggest that two of the locks on this section failed not long after the opening of the canal in 1789. During the demolition of the lock it was noticed that the south-west lock wall had four composite tie beams. These were spaced at intervals along the lock wall and each made from a section of timber connected to an iron tie rod linked to around brick piers or butresses, the opposite wall had only two butresses with all wooden ties. The lock walls were founded on the natural soils and not on concrete as expected.
3 Further report on recording at the lock. The lock itself was of standard design, similar to others on the canal. There was evidence for changes to the design of the lock gates, These changes may have been in response to the failure of two of the Curdworth locks in 1789. The unreliability of the locks at both Curdworth and Dunton remained a continuing problem until 1823 when the faults in their original design were finally rectified.

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