Association for Industrial Archaeology awards grant for tramway wharf restoration

The Shropshire Union Canal Society gratefully acknowledges the support of a £14,600 restoration grant from the Association for Industrial Archaeology towards the cost of restoring the historic tramway wharf at Crickheath.

The canal wharf was the terminal of a 2½ mile horse-drawn tramway from the limestone quarry at Porth-y-waen. Built by navvies during the construction of the canal at the end of the 18th century, it is constructed as a wide rubble stone wall using local limestone. The wharf wall is being restored as it was originally built with members of the Dry Stone Walling Association contributing their expertise to ensure durable and high quality repairs. The wall is topped with large copings of buff and yellow sandstone/gritstone that supported the tramway rails and wagons from where stone was tipped into moored narrowboats. It is thought that even back in the 18th century, the copings were repurposed from elsewhere due to some variation in materials and different stonemason dressing marks. Many have crumbled and will require replacement.

The grant will be a substantial contribution towards the cost of plant hire, volunteer welfare costs and materials.

The AIA promotes the study and appreciation of industrial archaeology through a programme of awards and grants and promotes its aims through broad engagement with people in their early careers.

The wharf before restoration

Update: Chris Bryan-Smith, SUCS Publicity Officer, talked to Radio Shropshire about the grant on July 15, 2023. You can listen to the seven-minute discussion here.

Posted in External, Montgomery Canal, Restoration, Shropshire Union Canal Society.

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