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

The building of the Thames & Severn Canal took place with great speed. The section as far as Chalford opened in 1785. The first barge to travel the length of the canal reached the Thames at Lechlade on 19th November 1789. To finance the work, the Company borrowed an additional £120,000, raising the total spent to around a quarter of a million pounds. Just like the Stroudwater, twice as much as the original estimate.

The headquarters of the Thames & Severn was located at Brimscombe Port - about two miles from the junction with the Stroudwater at Wallbridge. Coal was stored on the island between the arms of the canal to make pilfering more difficult.

GRO A59/1 Brimscombe Port,1826
GRO GPS 609/19 Canal Office and warehouse Brimscombe Port c1910

The Tonnage List shown here records traffic at Brimscombe in a typical week in December 1816, by which time the Thames & Severn had been open for more than twenty five years.


No. of vessels


Arriving from the West



Arriving from the East



[Expected from London]



Dispatched Westwards



Dispatched Eastwards



The main cargo was coal which arrived from the west along the Stroudwater and was sent on mostly to destinations on the canal. Only two boats travelled beyond Lechlade onto the Thames, just one going as far as Oxford. Only two boats arrived from the east, one from Kempsford and one from Lechlade. In general, there was hardly any trade to or from London, as the original Proprietors had hoped.

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