Dudbridge Wharf (1) was the busiest wharf along the canal as it served some important industrial businesses nearby to the south and others further south along the Nailsworth valley. On the wharf was a house for the wharfinger, a small warehouse, a crane and a weighbridge. To the west is Gladfield House (2) that was built for an early trader at the wharf but is now divided into three dwellings.
Immediately east of the main road is Dudbridge Lock (3) and further east Foundry Lock (4), named after a foundry beside the nearby house, which later became the Victoria Tap pub (5). For more about the foundry, read Foundry Lock. To the south of Dudbridge Lock were cottages for the lock keeper and another company employee (6). The pub and the cottages have been demolished.
The picture shows the barge Ila moored in front of the crane and the warehouse, with the gable of Gladfield House on the right. A narrowboat is moored further along the wharf. Note the high wooden door attached to the wall of Gladfield House that could be closed across the towpath at night and on Sundays. For the launch of a barge at Dudbridge Wharf, read Teetoal Barge.
The nearby buildings, the gate and the crane are still in situ, but they are now fenced off from the towpath.
The picture shows the wharf house and stable, backing on to the main road, with the weighbridge house to the right. In the 1840s, the wharf house also served as a beer house - until the wharfinger became a leading member of the local temperance society.
In spite of competition from the railways, the wharf continued to receive coal by water well into the 1930s, and then it became a transport yard. These buildings have not survived.
The crane at Dudbridge Wharf also served as a popular climbing frame for local children, and any boy who managed to climb right to the top of the jib felt he had really 'made it'. (John S)