The Beginning Travel River or Canal River or Canal 1755-74 Financing The Stroudwater Navigation Stroudwater Canal Act Stroudwater Triumphant Stroudwater Triumphant II A New Canal Thames & Severn Thames & Severn Canal Problems 20th Century

Being shorter and much easier to maintain than the Thames & Severn, the Stroudwater Canal remained economically viable into the 20th century.

GPS GRO 609/15 Ebley Mill, Stroudwater Canal c1910
GRO GPS 609/16 Canal at Ebley c1910
GRO GPS 609/17 Stroudwater Canal Bell Bridge, c1910

However, the Stroudwater too had to face competition - first from the railways and then from lorries. This picture taken in the 1920s, shows a coal barge from Gloucester on the canal near Stonehouse. In the background are coal wagons on the railway.

Increasing problems were caused by the canal silting up. Commercial traffic effectively ceased in 1930s. The last commercial toll was paid in 1941.

Sadly, the structure of the canal was allowed to decay after the Second World War. Part of the canal near Ebley was filled to allow access to a rubbish dump - this has been reinstated. New roads like the M5 obstructed the canal. Meanwhile, an office block was built over the Thames and Severn Canal at Brimscombe Port.

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

GRO GPS 609/13 Barge on Stroudwater Canal c1925
GRO Brimscombe Port 2003 IMG 1312