Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings
Sewer Ventilation Pipes
Near 134 Codsall Road; near 4 Harrow Road; Henwood Road near junction with The Rock; junction Upper Villiers Street Cross Street 
South; corner of Owen Rd. & Merridale St. West; and Birmingham Rd.

Listing:  each pipe is described as: mid C19. A rare survival of an early type of sewer pipe. The pipe at the corner of Owen Road and Merridale Street West is Locally Listed, approved November 2001. It is a good example with base and cresting at top in tact.

Comment: There are four listed Grade II sewer ventilation pipes in Wolverhampton.  Photos of three of them appear below.  We cannot find the fourth, in Upper Villiers Street, Blakenhall.   The locally listed one is also shown below; presumably it was simply overlooked when the national listing was done.  

There is a dearth of writing about sewer ventilation pipes and our own knowledge of them is strictly limited - so we cannot find much to say about these valuable features of the townscape.

Codsall Road:

It is surprisingly far out of town for its date. The houses here are much later than the mid 19th century.  Presumably it is of the mid 19th century date attributed to it.  Its appearance, and the plate cast into its plinth indicating it was made by Ham Baker & Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster, make it similar to the Owen Road pipe (below) which is more clearly contemporary with its surrounding development.

Harrow Street:

This one seems more contemporary with the buildings in its vicinity.  There is no maker's name or other identification on it.

Henwood Road:

The pipe in question is the one on the right.  The name cast into the plinth is Adams Ltd.  The structure on the left is a street light.





Photograph courtesy of John Maddan.

Owen Road

This is the locally listed (but, as sewer pipes go, by no means inferior) pipe, at the corner of Owen Road and Merridale Street West.  The name plate cast into its plinth indicates it was made by Ham Baker & Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster.

The mid-19th century date given for the nationally listed pipes seems at least 25 years too early for the surrounding development.

Either the pipes were later (say, end of the 19th century); or the design did not change over many decades;  or someone, for some good reason, laid in a stock of them in 1850 and used them decades later.


Birmingham New Road

This important pipe was spot listed on the 18th August 2004.  Presumably it was noticed in connection with the redevelopment of the site beside which it stands. 

Again the listing says "Mid-C19" and calls it "a rare survival of an early sewer pipe".  If many more are found we might start wondering how rare they are.

But this one is different - it has leaf ornamentation at the top and at the bottom. 

The pipe is almost exactly opposite the entrance to Curzon Street.