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Askew Bridge
Askew Bridge and the watercourse has distingued the boundary between the two parishes of Lower Gornal and Himley, and in recent times the division of the county of Staffordshire with West Midlands.
1827-July; one of the earliest reports of a fatality in the pools.
An inquest was held on Friday, the 13th instant, at Gornall Wood, in this county, on Joseph Wynch, a collier, who was drowned while bathing in Askew Bridge Pool.
Askew is where Straits Brook, locally called 'Bobs' Brook, under-passes the main Himley-Dudley Road.
Although there is not much to see now, this was the site of the large pools which formed upstream of Coppice Mill either side of the main turnpike road, many drownings have occurred here in the past.
See:- Old News Page
The pools are now drained, just a marshy hollow remains, and only during floods do we see much water accumulate here these days.
On the Himley side of the brook there were pits and a colliery belonging to the Earl of Dudley, as well as a 'tramway' from Straits Green Colliery.
The lane leading to the famous Crooked House pub is on the opposite side to the Toll House, so this was quite a busy corner of the Parish.
In the 17th Century, Dud Dudley is said to have set up a furnace for a new process of smelting iron using pit coal in the fields and woods near Askew Bridge.
The furnace bellows were likely powered by water from the pools.
Another notable feature of this spot is the old Askew Bridge Toll House, one of the few Toll Houses that still exist in the area, it is now a private dwelling.
Askew Bridge Toll House.