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The principal activity of the charity is the advancement of public education in the history, economy, geology and other features of the Dudley Canal Tunnel and inland waterways. In furtherance of the objectives the charity operates passenger vessels through the Dudley Canal Tunnel and on other canals in the region.
Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust is a preservation charity created to protect 420 million years of history. During the Silurian Age thick limestone was formed. Fast forward to the 18th century, this rich mineral resource, along with seams of coal from the Carboniferous period, laid the foundations for the Industrial Revolution when the Black Country was at the center of the manufacturing world.
The English Heritage listing explains that 'the Dudley Tunnel, which linked the canal networks on both sides of the watershed was the 2nd longest canal tunnel in Britain. The network of subterranean canals joined the caverns and scattered lime works and included several underground basins and wharves.' It is 'the best surviving remains of the limestone quarrying, mining and processing industry in Dudley.' At the height of the Industrial Revolution, up to 20,000 tonnes of limestone were bing removed per year.
Today, the Charity operates canal boat tours of the underground limestone mines and caverns below Castle Hill in Dudley. We run various boat trips from 45 minute tours of the mines and caverns, 6 hour trips which take in the striking flight of locks at the Parkhead Conservation area as well as the Netherton and Dudley Tunnels.