New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Friday Photo- Wiggins Hill Bridge

Posted February 25th, 2017 by Anne-Marie Hayes with 4 Comments

Wiggins Hill Bridge sits over the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in Sutton Coldifeld, located in Minworth between Curdworth and Wishaw. Wiggins Hill was actually mentioned in the 1086 Domesday survey as Winchicelle, the name of which in Old English, means ‘Wicga’s People’s Hill’ or the ‘farm of Wicga’s people. Still a hamlet, you’ll spot many farms and green spaces nearby and there is a real rural feel to this part of the city, despite threatening industrial encroachment not too far away.

The original purpose of the canal was to provide a link between Birmingham and the south east of England and the canal was completed in 1789. I often walk my dogs here and and always appreciate that green spaces aren’t too far away if you look for them- I just have the task of keeping a spritely young and excited little dog away the wildlife which he is always inevitably interested in.


4 Responses to “Friday Photo- Wiggins Hill Bridge”

  1. Boyd October 25, 2018

    Was passing Wiggins hill canal bridge and was wondering what the small window shape was for thanks in anticipation


    • Vicki Cox November 1, 2018

      Hi Boyd,

      Thanks for your question. We don’t know for sure but it’s possible that it’s a storage hole for stop planks or dam planks. Each hole can be 12 to 18 feet long and single ended i.e. it does not go all the way through to the other side

      What is a stop plank, you ask?
      If the banks of a canal were to burst or leak, the water would drain away. In the event of a leak wooden planks were put in the canal across its width to create a dam and hold back as much water as possible. Bridges were good places to do this damming-up because they were often the narrowest stretches of the canal. Sometimes there are slots cut into the stone or brick of the canal edge to drop these planks into. Once repairs to fix the leak were done, the planks were lifted out and the water could flow to refill the empty sections between dams.

      Hope that helps. If you visit and find it’s not long enough to accommodate the planks then it’s probably a question for the Canal and Rivers Trust.


  2. Paul January 15, 2018

    This lovely old bridge is regularly abused by selfish lorry drivers breaking the MGW of 13T. On a daily basis overweight lorrys use the bridge as a short cut risking collapse. I have even seen a 40T lorry come up the rd where he got stuck near the Cock Inn as he couldn’t make the turn.

    The authorities do nothing to tackle the problem I’ve contacted the police (weekly) Birmingham City Council, Trading Standards, Highways.The police actually told me to stop reporting as they can’t deal with the high volume of lorrys abusing the weight limit.


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