Wolverhampton's Listed  and Locally Listed Buildings

Autherley Junction

Shropshire Union Canal

This important junction joins the Shropshire Union directly to the Staffs and Worcs and, within a mile, to the BCN. It also joins the work of Brindley with that of Telford, and early canals with later canals. The junction is still important to pleasure boating both for those cruising and those who have a marina and club house nearby.  The canal and its associated buildings and structures make an important whole.

Most of the buildings at the junction are now listed or locally listed and all of them are included on this page.


Bridge No. 1: 1830. By Thomas Telford. Middle parapet divides off eastern part as roving bridge.

Lock No.1: 1835 for Staffs & Worcs Canal Co. Built on insistence of Staffs and Worcs Canal Co. to prevent Shropshire Union stealing their water.

Toll Office: c.1830. A rare surviving example.

Mile Post: c.1830

Locally Listed:

Canal House:  typical 19th century canal side vernacular, one of the group originally associated with the origins of the Shropshire Union Canal and its operation.

Toll Hut:  important member of the group of operational buildings from the early part of the Shropshire Union Canal's history.

Building over by-pass weir:  part of the group of buildings relating to the operation of the canal.

Stable Blocks:  the stable blocks date from the 1860s and emphasise the role of horses in the operation of the canal.

Lifting Bridge:  the bridge marks the entrance to a little basin which was used to look after boats.  The lifting bridge is of a particular design.

Canal Cottage:  canal vernacular cottage which housed the horsekeepers;  an integral part of the operation of the canal.

Conservation Area:

This whole are is included in the Staffordshire and Worcester and Shropshire Union Conservation Area.


The report made to the City Council when local listings in this area was being considered was based on research carried out by the council's Conservation Officers.  Their general introduction is as follows:

Autherley Junction is the point where the Shropshire Union Canal joins the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Pendeford.  The Shropshire Union Canal was originally built as the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, designed by Thomas Telford.  The southern section was built between 1826 and 1835.  The area being considered here, at Autherley, is known as Cut End by the canal fraternity. It was opened to boat traffic in 1835.

Many of the remaining buildings are original to the time of opening or a short time later and demonstrate the different elements needed to operate the canal efficiently.

Stables were used for resting two different groups of horses; those used for the slow boats and separate stables for the fly boat horses. The fly boats completed the journey north stopping only to change horses and carried perishable produce such as the chocolate crumb produced at Knighton in Shropshire and used by Cadbury's in Bourneville.

The toll office was used to manage the gauging'of boats to extract the appropriate toll. Gauging measures how low they were in the water and this could be read off a predetermined scale to work out a toll according to the type of cargo they were carrying.

The covered dock was used to repair and repaint boats and would have been in regular use in the commercial times of the canal.

The staff and employees of the Canal Company lived in the house or cottages.

Other smaller buildings were used as stores or in connection with the maintenance of the canal.

Each structure is listed below, in the order shown in the councils' report.  The comments are also largely taken from that report.

Bridge Number 1 (Autherley Junction Bridge)

Bridge No.1 over the Shropshire Union Canal was built in brick with stone dressings and dates from 1830, being an original Thomas Telford design.

It is in part a roving bridge to link the two towing paths and is Statutorily Listed Grade II.

Mile Post

Cast iron mile post dating from 1830.  It is Statutorily Listed Grade II and shows the distances to Nantwich and Norbury Junction from Autherley Junction.

The Canal House

The Canal House is mid 19th century in origin and L shaped. It has a slate hipped roof with a large central chimney stack. The windows are 20th century. It has a cambered arch doorway with a plank door and a strong canal architecture feel which subsequent alterations have not diluted. It would have housed one of the canal company employees involved in general management of the site but this part of its history has not been uncovered.

The Toll Hut

The Toll Hut is a small building situated by the Stop Lock which is much altered from its original style. However, it is a rare surviving example and is of considerable historic value. It is not clear when this particular construction dates from but is likely to be later than the Toll Office (1830). It has a large chimney and a flat roof.

The Stop Lock

The Stop Lock is parallel to this building and features stone copings and single gates. It is protected by Statutory Listing (Grade II).

[The lock, which was really a water flow control device, is often quoted as having a drop of 1 inch.  That means that often there is no drop at all and at times you will even find top and bottom gates both open.]

Building over the by pass weir

On the off‑side of the canal is a small, hipped, slate roofed, brick building located over the bypass weir around the Stop Lock. It is probably more recent than others on the site but still appears on the 1884 ‑90 edition of the Ordnance Survey maps. It is not clear what the original function of this building was but it is likely to have been used in connection with maintaining water flow in the weir.

The Toll Office

The Toll Office dates from 1830 and is of a distinct design typical of Telford who was responsible for the design and construction of this canal.

It has been altered but the original design is still evident. This building is protected through Statutory Listing (Grade II).

Stable Blocks

There are two stable blocks remaining. Both are now painted, and one has kept its original sub‑divisions and has the original slate roofing material, which has unfortunately been 'turnerised', including raised timber louvres on the ridge. The second building has recently been altered and now has an artificial slate roof and the louvre boxes have been sealed up and so have lost their original appearance. These blocks appear on the 1884‑90 OS maps and on an 1878 map. It is thought that the stables date from the 1860s. There was a third building between them at the back which was visible on earlier maps as late as the 1938‑46 edition of the OS.  The stables are a useful reminder of the importance of horses to the functioning of the canal. One of the blocks would have been reserved solely for the stabling of the fly‑boat horses. The stable blocks have retained much of their original architectural detail and are important survivors of the canal operational buildings. The stable blocks are included in the Local List.

Lifting Bridge

Between the stables where the towpath passes in front of the complex is a small canal basin which is accessed from the canal. The tow path crosses the mouth of the basin using a counter‑balanced lifting pedestrian bridge which is itself worthy of note. It is painted white at present and seems to be in full working order. The bridge may not be original but a bridge may have been required in this position and the present bridge has some intrinsic construction interest. This bridge is included on the Local List.

Canal Cottage

There is a small two storey canal cottage with bay window and narrow outbuildings behind; slate roof and single chimney on one side. It is in good condition and has retained most of its original exterior features. This cottage was used by the horse keeper who was required to attend to the horses full time.