Hope Mill Brimscombe Mill Brimscombe Port Port Mill Bourne Mill (1) Dark Mill Brimscombe Polytechnic Brimscombe House Gussage Mill Lewiston Mill Bourne Mill (2)
GRO Brimscombe Port IMG 1314
What: Historic man-made Port Site (1789)
Where: Extending from Brimscombe Mills Estate, down Port Lane

Brimscombe Port was a focal point as the Headquarters for the Thames & Severn Canal, where goods were transferred from trows to barges.


In the 1960s the port basin was filled in. There are plans to re-open the canal.

Brimscombe Port, a large sheet of water with a central island for safe storage of goods, was necessary because of the two types of boats working the canals. Severn trows could come all the way up the Stroudwater Canal to Brimscombe, but then narrower boats were needed to go through the Sapperton Tunnel to the River Thames, and the Port was the place where the cargoes were moved from one to the other.  The Port was also the headquarters of the Canal Company, who had their offices here, in buildings later converted into a Polytechnic School, which gave the name 'Polly Basin' to the great stretch of water.

The canal was opened in 1789 and the last loaded boat went through to the Thames in 1911. In its earlier years it was used for the transhipment of building stone from the Brimscombe area and elsewhere, and for coal coming up from the Stroudwater canal, as well as for a wide variety of other cargoes. The coming of the railway in 1845 brought about the lessening of traffic on the canals.The canal was not formally abandoned until 1927, and the Stroudwater Navigation Co. kept the canal opened to Brimscombe until 1933. In the 1960s, however, the port basin was filled in, and various companies, including a foundry, carried on business on the site. In 2002, the port area was purchased by British Waterways, who plan to reopen the canal after restoration in the coming years.

The headquarters building, which has since been demolished, was converted into Brimscombe Polytechnic School.

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

Revised 2018 EMW