Sandwell Coal Chutes

Birmingham Old Main Line Canal, Smethwick

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The Sandwell coal chutes are close to the site of Sandwell Park Colliery and are situated just west of the Summit Tunnel on the Old Main Line Canal, Smethwick (Wolverhampton Level).

These historic chutes are to be dismantled in June 2006 because the crumbling condition of the concrete means they are in danger of collapse. Before that happens, an archaeologist is to record all the details of the site for future reference. After the demolition, volunteers will explore the rest of the site, which is believed to include inclined planes, narrow gauge railways and other relics.

Access to the towpath opposite can be gained from Roebuck Lane, to the north of Galton Bridge.

Sandwell Coal Chutes
Looking down from Summit Crescent. The brick abutment of the inclined planes can be seen behind.

Sandwell Coal Chutes
The holes in the brickwork on each side were the locations of the supports of the original wooden structure that was here before the concrete structure was built.

Sandwell Coal Chutes
View from towpath level. Part of the thin concrete front can be seen to be bowing outwards.

Sandwell Coal Chutes
Close-up of the external mechanism. A hole has eroded right through the concrete above.

Sandwell Coal Chutes
Close-up of the chute openings.

Sandwell Coal Chutes
Location in relation to Roebuck Lane Bridge and Summit Tunnel.