About the Archive

The Stroudwater Archive held at the Gloucestershire Archives is the most complete archive for any canal in the country. It runs from the first meeting of the Stroudwater Navigation Company in December 1774 to the closure of the canal. 

To make these archives more accessible to the public we have put images and summaries of the minutes of 2500+ meetings (recorded on 3700 pages in 10 minute books) and more than 10,000 letters sent by the company onto this website. We are in the process of enhancing the summaries by adding full verbatim text for each minute (and selected letters) so that you can search through these documents using the options detailed in Searching the Archive.

This online archive is designed to be used by a wide range of communities including (but by no means limited to):

  • local historians wanting to find out how the canal influenced the development of their area
  • family historians wanting to find information about family connections with the canal
  • schools wishing to explore the effects of the canal on the local industry, etc
  • researchers looking into particular topics, such as the coal and grain trades
  • those giving talks, or leading walks along the canal, who want to tell the story of a particular part of the canal.

While you can follow the sequence of minute and letters page by page it will often be best to use the Search option to find the information you are looking for.

In time we hope to add details of those working for the Stroudwater Canal and the tenants of their properties. For the time being, however, you will probably only find references to many of them within letters.

There are many other resources available within the Stroudwater Archive, including lists of boats and their cargoes arriving at Framilode, tonnage records from Wallbridge, and wage books. If we can obtain enough funding and volunteers we hope to make selections from these available on the website. To find out more about how you can help us enhance the site, visit our Become a Volunteer page.