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Intro Sharpness to Saul
Saul Junction Saul
to Gloucester Access Map
the Sharpness Canal
Sharpness to Saul Junction
of the southern half of the canal is embanked so that the water
level is above the general level of the surrounding land. These
banks have periodically caused concern to successive engineers,
but a fortunate consequence is that boaters on the canal or walkers
along the towpath can enjoy extensive views. Access points where
car parking is available are noted below.
Severn Railway Bridge
bridge was built in the 1870s to allow coal from the Forest of Dean
to be brought across the river to Sharpness to provide an export
cargo and fuel for steamers. It had 21 spans supported on piers
across the river and a swinging section across the canal that opened
to allow vessels to pass.
A vessel requiring the
swing section to open sounded three blasts on its whistle, but if
a train was due the vessel would have to wait until the train passed
over. (PC W Merrett)
After two tankers collided
with one of the piers in the river and brought down two spans in
1960, most of the bridge was demolished, leaving this masonry on
either side of the canal.
Purton Barge Graveyard
narrow bank between the canal towpath and the River Severn to the
north of the Severn Railway Bridge has long been used as a graveyard
for old barges, with the aim of protecting the bank from erosion
by the strong currents in the river (more
Purton Lower Bridge
originally carried the former turnpike road from the Bristol road
through Breadstone and Halmore to Purton ferry. The ferry linked
with another Purton on the west bank of the river until it was superceded
by the Severn Railway Bridge in 1879. The road now leads to a few
houses and to the Berkeley Arms.
Purton Upper Bridge
carries a minor road from Purton to fields belonging to the Berkeley
family, who insisted the bridge was provided even though it was
so close to the Lower Bridge. Beside the bridge is a classical-style
bridgeman's house. The hamlet of Purton developed during the nineteenth
century, providing homes for canal workers and Severn pilots.
a minor road from Slimbridge and Shepherds Patch to the New Grounds
and the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre. Shepherds
Patch developed during the nineteenth century, providing homes for
canal workers. Near the bridge are the Black Shed Café Bar and Glevum
Boat & Cycle Hire on
Patch Wharf and the Tudor Arms a few yards away.
The black shed beside Patch
Bridge was built in 1911 to store grain on its way to Draycott Mills,
Cam. (PC M.Boakes)
The shed is now occupied
by the Black Shed Café Bar and Glevum
Boat & Cycle Hire. Patch
Cambridge Arms Bridge
carries Ryalls Lane from Cambridge on the A38 to the New Grounds.
Nearby is a classical-style bridgeman's house. The bridge name does
not refer to a public house and perhaps should have an apostrophe
to mean the bridge associated with the nearby Cambridge Arm. The
Cambridge Arm was formed as a navigable feeder, bringing the water
of the River Cam into the main canal and having a wharf near the
Bristol road serving Cam and Dursley.
a minor road leading to fields. Nearby is a classical-style bridgeman's
house. The name is derived from the ancient plot of waste ground
around the head of Frampton Pill, an inlet from the River Severn
once used by small vessels supplying the village of Frampton-on-Severn.
carries what was a turnpike road through Frampton-on-Severn to Fretherne
and the ferry between Arlingham and Newnham. Nearby is a classical-style
bridgeman's house. On the opposite side of the canal is Frampton
Wharf, now a small car park, and beyond that is the former Cadbury's
Cadbury's factory near
Fretherne Bridge was established in 1916. Ground cocoa beans and
sugar were blended with milk collected from local farms, and the
mixture was baked to form chocolate crumb. This was taken by boat
to Bournville for final processing. (Photo Cadbury's)
As throughput increased,
the huge concrete silo was needed to provide additional storage
for the crumb. The factory closed in 1983, and the site is now shared
by a number of businesses, including Shipton Mill and AP Fuels.
carries a minor road from Whitminster to Saul and takes its name
from the nearby field. On one side of the bridge is a Second World
War strategic food store later used as a commercial wharf. On the
other side of the bridge are the former
stables for towing horses that were converted to The
Stables Cafe in 2008.
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