News article created on 5 April 2019

Historic canal bridge restored thanks to Lottery funding

The project to repair and restore three historic cast iron bridges along the Birmingham Canal Navigations is nearing completion.

Volunteer repointing brick work Volunteer repointing brick work

The project is being carried out in the year that also celebrates 250 years since the first stretch of the Birmingham Canal Navigation was completed. 

Thanks to £150,000 in support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the following bridges are being carefully restored:

  • Saltwells Bridge on the Dudley No 2 Canal
  • Peartree Roving Bridge on the Dudley No 1 Canal
  • Monument Road Bridge on the Birmingham New Main Line Canal 

The works are being carried out by a team of specialists from the Trust, with support from volunteers, using a range of heritage techniques.

The bridges, which date back to the mid-19th Century, will have the old paint removed and then several coats of specialist paint applied.  Characterised by their gothic style these bridges are amongst the most iconic symbols of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and the waterways across the West Midlands. The brick walls holding up the bridge will also be repaired and repointed.

Lawrence Tall from, the Canal & River Trust, said: “Birmingham and the Black Country are well known for their black and white bridges so it’s important we look after them and preserve them as much as we can. These bridges are wonderful works of art and are beautiful to look at, so we are delighted we can give them some important care and attention.

“Our waterways are idyllic places to visit throughout the year and you’re never really far from a piece of history or a nature reserve.  Recent research shows that being next to water is good for your mental and physical health, so I would urge everyone to come and visit and spend some time exploring their local canal.”

Sanjay Singh, Senior Programmes Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I’m thrilled that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the restoration of these historic bridges. These bridges truly are wonderful and frame the 100 miles of canal within the BCN network. These canals and bridges remind us of the history of Victorian Birmingham and how they are still used and enjoyed by both the community and future generations to come.”