a walk along the Caldon Canal

Etruria Junction

 


Next: Etruria Basin & Wharf 

 

 

Etruria Junction - the junction of the Caldon Canal and the Trent and Mersey Canal

  • The Caldon Branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal), opened in 1779. 

  • It runs 18 miles from Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent to Froghall, Staffordshire.

  • The canal commences at Etruria, immediately adjacent to the top lock of the Stoke flight on the Trent & Mersey Canal.

  • At the junction of the two canals is a toll house, warehousing, blacksmith forge and a Graving Dock. 

 

Caldon Canal
Caldon Canal 


the route of the Caldon Canal from Etruria to Froghall
the route of the Caldon Canal from Etruria to Froghall 

 

Etruria Junction
Etruria Junction 

Google maps

 


 

the Etruria Junction marker
the Etruria Junction marker

 

Etruria Junction

"Etruria Junction is the meeting point of the Trent and Mersey and the Caldon Canal.

The Caldon Canal was used to ship coal and limestone from Froghall to North Staffordshire and Cheshire. As the Caldon Canal passes the museum it ascends through Bedford Street Locks, which are the only remaining staircase locks in North Staffordshire.

This is Summit Lock, one of the highest in the country. At this point boats were charged a toll as they passed along the canal. The former toll collection office and the adjoining canal warehouse now form part of the Etruria Industrial Museum. 

To facilitate toll collection, mileposts were erected along the canal between 1819-20. The cast iron milepost from the Graving Dock entrance dates from this time. The Graving Dock was used by the canal authorities to gauge new boats before they were allowed onto the waterway network.

Boats were floated into the dock and circular weights were loaded onto them. The water level was then marked on the bow of the boat. This building was originally roofed, evidence of which remains on the rear gable of the Canal Warehouse.

To protect toll collectors and boatmen from the elements, the Summit Lock was also covered. This roof was removed in the 1960's following the decline in commercial traffic, subsidence and the subsequent need to raise the level of the Lock. 

The bridge immediately to the south of Summit Lock is a replacement. The original bridge was hit by the Luftwaffe in 1940 during an attack on the nearby Shelton Ironworks. 

Below Summit Lock lies the Jesse Shirley Bone and Flint Mill originally operated by the Shirley family until 1975. The Mill is the only operational steam powered Potters Milll in the country and retains all of its original machinery. Dating back to 1857 it is now listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is maintained and operated by the City of Stoke-on-Trent. The buildings on this section of the canal form part of the Etruria Industrial Museum."     

description on the marker

 


 

 

Etruria Junction - the Caldon Canal to the left and Trent & Mersey Canal to the right
Etruria Junction - the Caldon Canal to the left and Trent & Mersey Canal to the right
top left is the blacksmith shop and the canal toll office and warehouse in the centre of the picture

Bing Maps

The Graving Dock can be seen between the junction of the two canals - this was used by the canal authorities to gauge new boats before they were allowed onto the waterway network.

Boats were floated into the dock and circular weights were loaded onto them. The water level was then marked on the bow of the boat. 

 

 


 

Etruria Junction - to the left is Caldon Canal, in the centre the Graving Dock and to the right the Trent and Mersey Canal
Etruria Junction - to the left is Caldon Canal, in the centre the Graving Dock and to the right 
the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Summit Lock

 

 

looking back along the Trent and Mersey Canal towards where Shelton Iron & Steel Works was
looking back along the Trent and Mersey Canal towards where Shelton Iron & Steel Works was
on the right is the entrance to the Graving Dock and Caldon Canal

 

photos: 2008   

 


 

Summit Lock, Etruria, also known as Stoke Top Lock
Summit Lock, Etruria, also known as Stoke Top Lock

photo: 1961 Copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This is Summit Lock, one of the highest in the country. At this point boats were charged a toll as they passed along the canal. 

This lock is actually on the Trent & Mersey Canal, the former toll collection office and the adjoining canal warehouse backs onto the Caldon Canal. 



1877 map of the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon Branch Canal
1877 map of the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon Branch Canal 

 

detail of the junction showing the Summit Lock, Graving Dock and Warehouse
detail of the junction showing the Summit Lock, Graving Dock and Warehouse

 



Next: Etruria Basin & Wharf