Try starting with a few simple searches to appreciate the type of material that is available and then find out what you can about a building, a person or an aspect of canal life.
Use the search box at the top of the page to try some of the following searches (using inverted commas where indicated). If some results are of particular interest, you can find out more by choosing another key word from what you are reading and then put that in the search box.
For boatmen and others offending against the Bye Laws, search for summons
For trouble with stone shipments from Bristol, search for egelstaff and again for tribe
For dealings with vessels sunk in the canal, search for sunk
For contamination of the canal water, search for closet and again for sewage
For promoting road stone carried by water rather than by rail, search for rowley
For trouble with visiting fly-boat owners aiming to travel fast, search for "fly boat"
For concerns about heavy vehicles crossing canal bridges, search for "ordinary traffic"
For changes in the management of fishing rights, search for angl
For drownings, search for drown
For dealings with a leading vessel owner, search for smart
For a change in policy about swimming in the canal, search for bath
For dealings with a troublesome tenant, search for penn 1917..1931
For rebates on tolls paid if a large quantity of a cargo was carried, search for drawback
For more information about searching, see our Search Help.
Try finding out what you can about a particular building or other structure visible from the towpath. When was it built, how has its role changed over the years and who was associated with it? Perhaps you can also make use of other free online resources such as Know Your Place, the Lloyd George Land Survey and British History Online, together with the British Newspaper Archive available online at your local library. Let us know what you find.
Try finding out what you can about any person named in the Online Archive by also using family history resources and the British Newspaper Archive available online at your local library. Let us know what you can find about individual lock keepers, maintenance men, vessel owners and crew men, property tenants, local businesses, etc.
Try finding out what you can about the working lives of groups of people such as boatmen, lock keepers, coal merchants, toll clerks and maintenance men, or investigate the relationship between the Canal Company and another organisation such as an adjoining canal company, railway company or utility company. For this, you may find it helpful to view some of the many original documents held at Gloucesterhire Archives that are not included in the Online Archive. Let us know what you find.
For help with research related to Stroudwater History, online or at Gloucestershire Archives, read Research Help.