The Wombridge Canal ran north east for less than 2 miles, from Wombridge (which is now a
suburb of Telford) to Donnington Wood where it met the western end of the Donnington Wood Canal and the northern end of the Shropshire Canal. There is absolutely nothing of the Wombridge Canal left but there
are plenty of places you can visit where the canal used to run.
The western end of the canal was situated in Wombridge, on the north side of Oakengates. It
began alongside the site of Wombridge Priory (SJ 69042 11551) on Wombridge Road (almost opposite Wombridge
Church). The canal ran through an area which is now a housing estate, across streets such as Priory Road, Abbey
Walls, The Cloisters and Bollingale Avenue. It then curved around the south and east side of a large pool
(shown as Wombridge Pool on old maps) which was once the priory fishing pond and was probably used as a canal
reservoir but is now a large open field to the south west of the A442, Queensway.
The actual canal can not be found here but its position can be traced a little further north
where it passed under what is now the A442, Queensway. This road was once a railway line and there is now an
underpass where once there was a railway bridge over the canal (SJ 69419 11605). However, the canal here was
already disused even when the railway was being built. Immediately south of the underpass old maps appear to
show a basin or short arm heading east to what is now Withington Close. This area cannot be reached from the
A442 but can be approached via the field to the west of Withington Close or from the north side of the A442 via
Laburnum Road. However, there is absolutely nothing of the canal to be seen here.
Laburnum Road follows the line of the canal very closely. I believe the canal actually ran
along the back of Laburnum Road (west side) and there is a footpath along what was once the canal bed. This
begins immediately after passing through the A442 underpass at the south end of Laburnum Road. The canal turned
sharp left here and the footpath follows the back gardens of Laburnum Road, curving from north west to north
exactly as the canal did.
At the junction of Wombridge Road and Hollyhurst Road (SJ 69267 11905) the canal crossed
Wombridge Road although I have yet to see an old map that actually shows this. My earliest map (dated 1840)
shows a gap in the canal at this point because the Wombridge Iron Works was built on the canal bed. Some people
believe there was a canal tunnel in this area but, if there was, someone has removed the hill!!
All of the canal route I have described so far was closed down after just a few years in
operation. Once the coal and iron mines in Wombridge had become exhausted there was little use for the canal.
Beyond Wombridge Iron Works however, the canal remained in use for many years.
The Iron Works was situated on the west side of Wombridge Road, a gap between the houses,
leading to a field, marks the spot. The canal probably also ran through this gap - long before the houses were
here of course.
West of the Iron Works site the canal line is now lost beneath Wrockwardine Wood Way and the
A442, Queensway - although "beneath" is not the right word. Both roads are actually much lower than the canal
was, it ran somewhere up above on a part of the hillside which no longer exists.
The next place to pick up the canal line is at the top of Trench Inclined Plane on Capewell
Road, Trench (SJ 69038 12168). Like all the rest, this area bears little resemblance to the way it looked when
the canal was first built but the line has not been built on here so it is possible to use your
The flat grassy area at the top of Capewell Road and at the back of Juniper Drive is at the
top of a hill above the site of Trench Inclined Plane. The site of the top of the incline is actually below the
top of the hill at the point where a footpath now runs around the edge of the hill heading from south west to
north east. This footpath is, more or less, the line of the Wombridge Canal. The slope going down to the north
west is the site of the incline. It ran very close to the west side of Capewell Road, although the road did not
exist when the incline was in use.
As you look north west, down the slope, you will see Capewell Road over to the right and the
Blue Pig pub at the bottom of the hill. This was once the Shropshire Arms and it stands alongside the site of
the bottom of the incline. For more information about Trench Incline see my Shrewsbury Canal page.
The Wombridge Canal ran across the top the incline, presumably through the basin. The canal
came in from the south west and departed heading north east across what is now Capewell Road, it then crossed
what is now Teagues Crescent and then between Teagues Crescent and Trenleigh Gardens and across Pool Road - but
none of these streets were here in the canal's day.
Virtually the only road that can be seen today that was also present in the days of the
canal is Wombridge Road. This crossed the canal at Teague's Bridge just north of Teagues Crescent. (Note: there
are two entrances to Teagues Crescent from Wombridge Road - the above description refers to the southern
entrance). Today there is a modern pub called The Bridge Inn on what was the south bank of the canal, on the
west side of Teague's Bridge.
East of Teague's Bridge the canal headed easterly, meandering around the contours of the
land as it went. This land is now a playing field and a sports complex, the canal ran across the field and
right through the middle of what is now a running track!
On the north side of the playing field the line of the canal can be picked up where a
footpath runs on the west side of a primary school. This path is, in fact, the former canal bed and as it bends
from northbound to eastbound it passes a former corn mill which once stood on the west bank of the canal close
to Chruch Road (SJ 69988 12498). This was once Bullock's Mill which has stood on this site since around 1811
(although a date in the stonework reads "1891"), By the 1990's it had long since been closed down and had
become run down and close to falling down. Very recently it has been saved from ruin and converted into
The canal crossed Church Road though there is no sign of the actual canal or a bridge. On
the far side of the road the canal line (now a public footpath) continues east to Wade Road, passing the pretty
gardens of nearby houses.
Wade Road did not exist in the days of the working canal so there was no bridge here but I
did spot a line of bricks buried in the footpath. Maybe they are canal related, but then again, maybe not? On
the east side of Wade Road the canal's line can be followed along a street (more of a back street actually)
called Canal Side! Once again there is no sign of the old canal here but at the east end of Canal Side it
crossed under Furnace Lane.
The Wombridge Canal now turned sharp right to run south, parallel to the east side of
Furnace Lane (behind the modern houses). Somewhere just behind these houses, on the north side of Smith
Crescent (SJ 70316 12393) the Wombridge Canal came to an end at a canal junction. To the south the Shropshire
Canal began by climbing steeply up the Wrockwardine Wood Inclined Plane. From the same junction the Donnington Wood Canal also began, heading north east towards Lilleshall.
For more details of this area, and of the Wrockwardine Wood Inclined Plane, see the
Shropshire Canal and Donnington Wood
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