Cotswold Canals in Pictures

About the Cotswold Canals

The Cotswold Canals comprise the Stroudwater Canal (or Navigation) and the Thames & Severn Canal. Together this 37-mile route used to link the River Severn at Framilode to the River Thames near Lechlade, both of which are in Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom (UK).

About 6 miles of the Cotswold Canals have been restored, and the Cotswold Canals Trust is working in partnership to restore the remainder, which is either obstructed, infilled or unnavigable. To support their efforts please get involved.

The Stroud Valleys Canal Company manages the western section of the Cotswold Canals, and information for canal and towpath users can be found on their website here.

For information about lengths of the canals and numbers of locks etc. see the Canal Facts page.

Listed Buildings

A number of buildings and structures on the Cotswold Canals have Listed Building status, details of which can be found here.

Historical Outline

The Stroudwater Canal was constructed between 1775 and 1779, and linked Framilode, on the River Severn, with Wallbridge in Stroud.

The canal was officially abandoned in 1954 by Act of Parliament.

Work started on the Thames & Severn Canal in 1783 and it opened in 1789.

This canal was abandoned in two phases; the 'Upper Portion' between the River Thames to just above Whitehall Bridge (including Sapperton Tunnel) in 1927; and the 'Lower Portion' from Whitehall Bridge to Wallbridge, Stroud in 1933.

However the last recorded commercial boat traffic through Sapperton Tunnel was in 1911, and the Thames Head Pumping Station ceased operating in 1912. This means that the through-route had effectively been severed as early as 1911.