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On this website you will find a wealth of information about the Stroudwater canal, the Stroudwater Navigation to give it it's proper title. Together with the Thames & Severn Canal it once linked England's two greatest rivers. The website has been produced by volunteers, members of SNAC.

Stroudwater Navigation Archive Charity (SNAC)

The Stroudwater Navigation Archive Charity, known as SNAC was set up by the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation to make information in the company archive more widely available. It comprises of a group of volunteers,formed several years ago and is dedicated to promoting the archive to the general public.

Company of Proprietors

The Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation (CoPSN) was set up by Act of Parliament in 1730 to make the River Frome navigable between Stroud and the River Severn. A later proposal to build a canal, largely independent of the river, was approved in 1776 and the canal was opened in 1779.

Stroudwater Archive

The Company's activities are recorded in a remarkably complete set of documents now held in Gloucestershire Archives (GA) under the Finding Reference D1180. To make the information more easily available, volunteers have prepared summaries, made extracts and photographed documents for presentation on this website.

Stroudwater Reconnected

The current project is to reconnect the restored section through Stroud with the national canal network at Saul Junction. Making the Company's archive more accessible is recognised as an important part of the project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


New volunteers are always welcome to join us and will be given appropriate training. Some work is undertaken at Gloucestershire Archives in Gloucester but home-working is also possible. Volunteers have access to more information than is presented on the website and researchers can contact us with a view to exchanging information.

Use of material

Users are welcome to copy extracts for non-commercial use, giving an acknowledgement to 'Stroudwater History Website'. For permission to use material for commercial use see the Contacts page. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For Terms and conditions see the Terms page.

The Stroudwater Navigation

The canal allowed boats known as Severn Trows to carry cargoes from the River Severn at Framilode up to the town of Stroud in Gloucestershire. It was opened in 1779 and finally closed in 1951?

The Thames & Severn Canal

The Stroudwater was joined to the River Thames near Lechlade in 1789? by the Thames & Severn Canal, completing a route from the West Country to London. This route continued in use throughout most of the nineteenth century, but there was a steady decline in the twentieth century until regular traffic finally ended in 1938.

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