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Image Wallbridge Map 1881

Features on the map will be numbered to link with numbers in the text below.

Wallbridge Wharf surrounded the basin at the terminus of the Stroudwater Canal on the south-west edge of the town of Stroud. The area included a warehouse for perishable goods (1) and pens for storing coal and road stone. At the head of the basin, there was a crane for lifting particularly heavy items, and nearby was a weighing machine for wagons.

To the north-east, a fine building (2) housed the offices of the Stroudwater Navigation Company and the residence of the Company's clerk. It was in this building that the bulk of the archive featured in this website was created. To the south was the Ship Inn (3), which was much frequented by thirsty boatmen.

The basin has been filled in, but the warehouse and office building have survived. A stone gateway (4) at the eastern end of the wharf carries grooves cut by tow-ropes when horses towed vessels to and from the wharf.

The lock to the north of the basin (5) was the start of the Thames & Severn Canal which provided a waterways route to the River Thames near Lechlade. On the hill overlooking all this was Farhill House (6), on the site now occupied by a Homebase store.

The name Wallbridge is thought to have derived from the name Walk Bridge for the crossing of the Frome near the Ship Inn, being a reference to the walkers or fullers who played a vital role in the woollen cloth industry that once flourished along the Frome valley.

1881 OS Map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Image Wallbridge Basin 1931

Painting by John Cook of Wallbridge Basin and warehouse in 1931 with the beginning of the Thames & Severn Canal on the left and the chimney of Stroud Brewery in the distance. (courtesy Neil Herapath)