Read & walk the history of the Stroudwater

Classic history available online

Respected historian Michael Handford first published his history of the Stroudwater Canal way back in 1979. The Stroudwater Navigation holds a unique place in the fascinating history of Britain’s canal network. First planned in 1729, it was one of the oldest successful canal schemes, predating the Bridgewater Canal by a generation.

Oldest canal company in the world

In continuous ownership of the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation, it is the oldest canal company in the world.

With the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1750, the canal can lay claim to the first use of a canal as a leisure resource in the world too.

From the building of Blunder Lock, deliberately at the wrong level, to the Battle of Carters Close, where locals would infill the canal at night as the contractors dug it out by day, Michael Handford tells the story in this new edition of his classic work on the canal.

Much has happened on the canal since the book was written and it is now being restored to its former glory.

Royal Geographiocal Society – Discovering Britain

After all those years of disuse and dereliction a walkers guide entitled Cloth, coal and canals allows you to enjoy a self guided walk along the restored route.

Dr Jenny Lunn of the Royal Geographical Society travelled to Stroud to walk and record audio tracks between Wallbridge in Stroud and The Ocean at Stonehouse.

Jenny was assisted by Ian Mackintosh of the Stroudwater Textile Trust, Jill Field of the Cotswold Canals Trust and David Marshall & Sara Chardin of Stroud District Council.

The result is an ideal guide for the history seeking walker.

Both these books are available at the CCT Visitor Centres at Saul and Wallbridge.

Click on the pictures right to purchase the books from the Cotswold Canals Trust online shop.

Click here to go to the Royal Geographical Society website to download audio tracks recorded along the way.