Wallbridge

The terminus basin at Wallbridge, Stroud, was surrounded by a coal wharf with the Company headquarters nearby. The Thames & Severn Canal to the north continued through Stroud to join the River Thames near Lechlade.

OS Map c1880 (National Library of Scotland) Larger Map
OS Map c1880 (National Library of Scotland) Larger Map
OS Map c1880 (National Library of Scotland) Larger Map
OS Map c1880 (National Library of Scotland) Larger Map

The area around the basin also 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 was the headquarters of the Canal Company (2), and to the south was the Ship Inn (3), which was much frequented by thirsty boatmen. On the hill overlooking all this was Farhill House (4), which was the home of Joseph Grazebrook, an early Clerk to the Canal Company.

Wallbridge Basin

(Neil Herapath)
(Neil Herapath)
(Neil Herapath)
(Neil Herapath)

This painting by John Cook shows Wallbridge Basin, warehouse and crane in 1931 with the chimney of Stroud Brewery in the distance. By that time, the Basin was little used as coal for domestic use was mainly carried by rail. After the right of navigation was withdrawn in 1954, the basin was filled in, but the warehouse has survived, and a stone gateway across the towpath (behind the artist) still carries grooves cut by tow-ropes when horses towed vessels to and from the wharf.

 

Company Offices

The headquarters of the Stroudwater Navigation Company has also survived. As well as offices, the building included accommodation for the Clerk who was in charge of the day-to-day running of the Company. It was in this building that the bulk of the archive material featured in this website was created. Note that the upper right window is a fake - there is no room behind it.

It Happened Here

In 1788, King George III visited Wallbridge on horseback wearing a blue coat with a scarlet collar and a cocked hat, and he watched a barge pass down through Lower Wallbridge Lock. (P H Fisher, Notes & Recollections of Stroud 1986, p125-26)