The Woodhouse diversion

The Montgomery Canal has a long straight section, just south of the Perry aqueduct. It then heads towards Rednal Basin. It wasn’t always this way though.

When the canal was originally under construction one of the members of the original Ellesmere Canal Committee persuaded the company to divert the course of the canal to run closer to his estate (the Woodhouse estate), with a short branch towards his house. Later the canal was moved back to its original planned line. As with so many things about the canal, the original documents are either vague or missing. Apprently the now disused section continued to hold water for some time though, and was marked on old maps as “old Canal”. I can’t find any of these maps though!

So, the Google Earth overlay below is based on what I can see, and make a best guess based on ground markings, lines of trees, and a sketch of the the old line. I can’t see the branch to the house though. If you know more, you can always email me.

Download the Google Earth overlay

Information from “Montgomeryshire Canal and the Llanymynech Branch of the Ellesmere Canal” by John Horsley Denton (1982).


No-one mentions the Weston Arm…

The Weston Arm of the Montgomery Canal ran from Welsh Frankton to Weston Lullingfields, and was built as part of the Ellesmere Canal. It was originally going to be the main line, taking traffic from the River Mersey at (what is now) Ellesmere Port to the River Severn at Shrewsbury, however like so many canal schemes it was never completed as intended. It ended up being closed in 1919 after a breach. Canal books often make many references to the Weston Arm, but few give it any real detail. After seeing the tiny stub of the canal that remains, I wondered where it went.

I’d already spent a little time looking at Google Earth, and cross-referencing with old maps. It sat on my computer for a few months, doing nothing, until a friend mentioned that he’d been wondering the same. So this is for Martin! The file below should open in Google Earth (which you can get from

weston branch.kmz