VILLAGES , TOWN and PLACES TO VISIT
Kings Norton. This area is 6.5 miles from the centre of Birmingham and was a village with a long history. In the centre are a church and several historic buildings, some timber-framed (one of them pictured above).
Dickens Heath is a modern village which now appears to be dominated by apartments, many with balconies overlooking the canal.
Hockley Heath. A straggling village on a main road, A3400. It was the first terminus of the canal when it was being built.
Lapworth and Kingswood. These are twin parishes and the basin and Link to the Warwick and Birmingham Canal are usually given the name Kingswood.
Lapworth church is an ancient establishment but is some distance from the canal. There are a couple of shops just off the canal in Lapworth and a Canal Shop between locks 13 and 14.
Kingswood, see Lapworth.
Lowsonford is a small village noted for the Fleur de Lys public house; it is well-known locally for the brand of Fleur de Lys pies which were later made in a factory in Warwick to a recipe developed at the pub. The original pie was chicken and mushroom, reputedly made using mushrooms grown in the cellar of the pub.
The village of Lowsonford was highly praised by Temple Thurston in 1911 in his book “Flower of Gloster”.
Preston Bagot. This is a small place with a church with a small timber bell-tower typical of the appearance of many churches in the area before masonry towers were added, mostly in the nineteenth century.
Wootton Wawen is a village lining a main road, A3400. It is notable for the only Saxon sanctuary in a church in Warwickshire (pictured above).
Bearley is another small village, best known for the location of the Edstone aqueduct nearby.
Wilmcote. This is the site of a long flight of locks. It is also the location of Mary Arden’s Farm. Mary was William Shakespeare’s mother.
Bishopton is best known as the site of a spring of saline spa water which was known before 1744. There were plans to create a spa town but only a pump house was built and it never achieved the fame of Bath, Cheltenham or nearby Royal Leamington Spa.
Stratford upon Avon is the site of the terminus of the canal at Bancroft Basin, now in Bancroft Gardens. The town is always linked to the playwright William Shakespeare. There is no shortage of sights to visit which are linked, sometimes tenuously, to this writer of plays and sonnets. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre overlooks the Bancroft basin and the River Avon. The Stratford and Moreton Tramway also had its terminus at Bancroft and a restored wagon is located there. The horse tramway left the town on a bridge across the river which is now a footbridge; it was built in 1823. It is very close to the Clopton road-bridge originally built about 1480; 14 arches remain from the original 19. The River Avon is navigable for about 1.5 miles to the north-east and to the River Severn in the other direction. The Upper Avon was reopened in 1974 following restoration led by our own David Hutchings.
Other Notable Places along the canal, within walking distance
Packwood House. This is a property of the National Trust and is a Tudor manor house, park and garden located near Lapworth.
Baddesley Clinton. This is another property of the National Trust near Lapworth and is one of the few moated manor houses surviving in Warwickshire.