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In the 1760s on the western edge of the parish, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal was constructed to link the Trent and Mersey Canal at Great Heywood with the River Severn at Stourport. A distinctive section of the original construction can be seen at "The Narrows" in Fordhouses, near Forster Bridge in Wobaston Lane. Here, the canal engineer James Brindley reduced the width of the canal to save expense in cutting through the outcrop of sandstone. This is one of the few places in the whole length of the canal where two narrow-boats cannot pass.

Beside the coming of the turnpike roads and the canals in the eighteenth century, another improvement in life was the Workhouse. We do not know when it was built, but it stood at Fordhouses at the junction of Wobaston Lane and Stafford Road.

Some cottages known as the "Workhouse Cottages" survived until this century, but the workhouse probably closed early in the nineteenth century.