Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Eighteenth century water power

More and more culverts are being revealed by our excavations at Wednesbury Forge. The complexity of the eighteenth century water management system has to be seen to be believed... and even then we are still not yet entirely sure what is going on!

General view of the 'mother' culvert (running across the photo)

This culvert was certainly in existence by the beginning of the nineteenth century, and this end of the site was developed on top of the culverts. Behind the 'mother culvert' in the photo above are two sister culverts, and they all meet off to the right of the photo.

The picture below shows how the walls of later buildings overlying the culverts have been constructed with relieving arches to carry the weight over the culvert. Two culverts meet at this point, one of the sister culverts and a subsidiary one.

The culverts are in two phases, but all of the overlying walls appear to be of one build.

This floor is associated with an 18th century building, and directly overlies one of the earlier culverts.

It is interesting that this stage of the Wednesbury excavations co-incides with the monitoring we are doing on the water-power system of similar age in Coalbrookdale. For more information on the Coalbrookdale Watercourses project scroll down here, or visit the Coalbrookdale blog.


Anonymous Jeremy said...

Looks like you guys are kickin on... that does look like one 'big mumma' of a culvert!

Hope you're all doing well, looks like you've got plenty to keep you busy.

13/6/06 11:51  
Blogger Emma said...

It certainly is... and there are plenty more of them across the site. Keeps us busy!
Hope that the survey work in the big smoke is going well.
All the best!

13/6/06 17:38  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

Yeah, so far so good working all over the place at the moment, I'm also sharing an office with your mate Jim... These Bristol alumni get everywhere!

Will you be escaping the joys of Wednesbury for Reading? On a miserable day like today, I'm not sure which place Id rather be in

26/6/06 14:54  

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