In 1776 a turnpike trust was set up to raise money to build a new road through Moxley (High Street) to join the Wednesbury Road at its junction with Dangerfield Lane.

The new road allowed through coach traffic from Bilston to Wednesbury and the first mail coach ran in 1785.

A toll house was built by the trust at the top of Dangerfield Lane and survived until 1903.

The road was again upgraded in the 1820s when Telford built the Holyhead Road.

The toll house in Dangerfield Lane.

In 1787 Darlaston Road which goes from the
Bull Stake in Darlaston, to the High Bullen in Wednesbury opened.

It was built across open land by the Turnpike Act of 1787, but became unpopular with local people because of a steep gradient at Kings Hill that was known as 'Breakback Hill'. This has since been removed.

Another view of Dangerfield Lane toll house.

The toll house that stood on King's Hill.

Dangerfield Lane was also the site of an isolation hospital which opened in 1899 and had 28 beds. It could only treat one disease at a time and was only used occasionally between 1909 and 1913. Often there were no more than 4 patients being treated at any one time and so the hospital was never an economical proposition. In later years patients were eligible to enter Moxley Isolation Hospital and West Bromwich Isolation Hospital and so even fewer patients could be found at Dangerfield Lane. The hospital closed in 1929 and the building was used for a time as temporary housing accommodation.

The old James Bridge toll house that stood on Darlaston Road, next to the River Tame.

Another view of the toll house.

The Walsall Canal

In 1792 an An Act of Parliament was Passed to allow the building of a canal from Wolverhampton to Great Wyrley, and the Wyrley & Essington company decided to build an extension from the new canal to Walsall. When this was announced the Birmingham Canal Company began to think about building a canal from the end of the Broadwaters Extension to Walsall via Darlaston.

On 17th April, 1794 an Act of Parliament was Passed to allow the work to begin and in 1799 the Walsall Branch of the Birmingham Canal Navigation opened from Walsall to Moxley, which was used as a base for the many navvies that were involved in the work. The locals far from welcomed them except for the publicans and beer sellers. One of the larger features is James Bridge aqueduct which carries the canal over Bentley Mill Way and the River Tame. This was completed in 1799 and is now a listed building.

The Walsall Branch, the first through route between Walsall and the Birmingham main line was completed in 1809.

The second Darlaston canal, the Anson Branch, opened in 1830 to serve the coal mines and the limestone quarry at Bentley. The Birmingham Canal Company became the BCN and in 1841 an extension was built between the Walsall Canal and the Wyrley and Essington Canal. The third Darlaston canal, the Bentley Canal, running for 3 miles from the Anson Branch to Wednesfield also opened.

The Walsall Canal at Moxley.

An advert from 1922.

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