Friday Photo- Wiggins Hill Bridge
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.
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
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.
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.
Vicki Cox January 16, 2018
Could it be an instance of them blindly following their Sat Navs? If that’s the case, you can find details on how to report errors here: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/resources/sat-nav-data.html
You might also be able to request additional signing before the bridge, or a ‘don’t follow sat nav’ type sign to be put up by the council. https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20110/report_road_and_pavement_issues/719/request_new_works_on_the_highway Although it sounds like you might have already tried that route.