Purton, Berkeley

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Georgian house, and the church of St John the Evangelist
Canal bridgekeeper's house, designed by Robert Mylne

Purton is a village on the east bank of the River Severn, 3 miles north of Berkeley, in Gloucestershire, England. The village is in the civil parish of Hinton. It lies opposite the hamlet of Purton on the west bank of the river.

The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal passes through the village.

The name of the place derives from the Old English pirige tun, meaning "pear orchard".[1]

River crossing[edit]

There was a ferry across the river to the other Purton by 1282. In the late 18th and early 19th century, there was also a ford across the river here. The ferry, known as Purton Passage, continued in use until 1879, when it was replaced by the Severn Railway Bridge.[2]

Tidal erosion barrier[edit]

In the early 20th century, a number of old vessels were run aground along the bank of the Severn, near Purton, to create a makeshift tidal erosion barrier to reinforce the narrow strip of land between the river and canal.[3][4] Barges, Trows and Schooners were "hulked" at high tide, and have since filled with silt. More boats have been added, including the schooner "Katherine Ellen" which was impounded in 1921 for running guns to the IRA, the Kennet Canal barge "Harriett", and Ferrous Concrete Barges built in World War II.[5]

Purton Passage SSSI[edit]

Purton Passage
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Purton, Berkeley is located in Gloucestershire
Purton, Berkeley
Shown within Gloucestershire
Area of Search Gloucestershire
Grid reference SO687045
Coordinates 51°44′20″N 2°27′14″W / 51.738778°N 2.453963°W / 51.738778; -2.453963Coordinates: 51°44′20″N 2°27′14″W / 51.738778°N 2.453963°W / 51.738778; -2.453963
Interest Geological
Area 4.9 hectare
Notification 1966
Natural England website

Purton Passage (grid reference SO687045) is a 4.9-hectare (12-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest near Purton notified in 1966. The site is listed in the ‘Stroud District’ Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 (online for download) as an SSSI and a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS).[6]

It is adjacent to the Severn Estuary SSSI.

Rocks of the Upper Ludlow Silurian age are exposed on the foreshore at Tites Point. These include bone beds, and the area is a declared important educational resource for the study of vertebrate palaeontology. Most important are the plates of Cyathaspis banksi. The remains of primitive fish include thelodont denticles and acanthodian fragments.[7]

Inspections by Natural England in 2009 report only acceptable change due to the natural processes of estuarine muds, and no establishment of vegetation; this is controlled due to the natural process of tidal scour.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mills, A.D. and Room, A. A Dictionary of British Place-Names Oxford University Press
  2. ^ Victoria County History of Gloucestershire: Lydney
  3. ^ "The Purton Hulks". morturn.com - Legacy from the past. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  4. ^ "Purton Barge Graveyard". Gloucester Docks and Sharpness Canal website. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  5. ^ "Purton Hulks - maritime history sunk by neglect". telegraph.co.uk (London). 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  6. ^ Stroud District Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 ‘Sites of Nature Conservation Interest’
  7. ^ Natural England SSSI information on the citation
  8. ^ Natural England SSSI information on the Purton Passage unit of assessment

SSSI Source[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Purton, Berkeley at Wikimedia Commons