Association of 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 on the canal 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 navies 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 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.

Tom Fulda, Shropshire Union Canal Society project manager said, “We are very grateful for this generous grant, it will substantially help the project with the cost of plant hire, volunteer welfare and materials as well as promoting the work of the Association for Industrial Archaeology, the national society for industrial heritage, which has supported the study, preservation and presentation of many sites since the 70’s. If you live near the Montgomery canal, why not pop down to Crickheath and see the progress we’re making?”

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.