Lydney Canal

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Lydney Canal
Pidcock's Canal
Upper Dock
Swing bridge
Lower Dock
Tidal flood protection gates
Tidal Basin
Sea gate
Junction to River Severn
1946 OS Map
The tidal entrance gate
The semi-tidal entrance basin
The lock

This one-mile canal in Gloucestershire runs inland from the River Severn to Lydney. It was opened in 1813 to trans-ship iron and coal from the Forest of Dean. It was once connected by a horse drawn tramroad to Pidcock's Canal [1] which brought materials down to the wharves by tub-boat.

In the 1960s imported wood was still being brought in by barge from Avonmouth.[2] It remained in commercial use until the 1980s. The entrance to the canal consists of an outer tidal gate opening into a wide basin. From there a lock opens into the one-mile canal cut. Immediately above the lock, a pair of gates point the other way as protection against a high tidal flood in the estuary. There is one swing bridge crossing the canal.

The docks have recently been restored to create a marina and harbour area for seagoing yachts and motor boats.[3]


1809 The Lydney and Lydbrook Railway Act enabled construction of a tramroad from Lydbrook to Lydney.[4]

1810 A second Act changed the company name to the "The Severn & Wye Railway and Canal Company" and (amongst other things) authorises the building of the canal to the River Severn at Nass Point.[5]

1810 Josias Jessop (son of William Jessop) was appointed consulting engineer and designed plans for the canal.

1811 Thomas Sheasby (son of Thomas Sheasby senior) was taken on as resident engineer.

1813 The canal was opened by the Severn and Wye Railway and Canal Company.

1821 The outer harbour was finally completed and the tramway extended all the way down.[6]

1825 The north pier was extended to aid ships into the harbour.

1868 The tramway was converted to broad gauge.

1872 Converted to standard gauge.

1893 Severn and Wye Railway and Canal Company went bankrupt.

1894 Purchased by the Great Western and Midland Railways and administered by a Joint Committee of the two companies.[7]

1948 The railway and docks passed to the Western Region of the Railway Executive on nationalization.

1950 Transferred to the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive.

1960 The last coal was shipped from the harbour.[8]

1977 The harbour was closed.

1985 The section from the swing bridge to the Severn was scheduled as an Ancient Monument [9]

1988 The swing bridge was scheduled as a Grade II listed building.[10]

1996 The Environment Agency took over management of the docks.

1997 Inner gates collapses and had to be replaced by a dam to reduce flood risk.

1998 The Lydney Docks Partnership was established to create a sustainable future for the canal.

2005 Re-opened after a two-year project of restoration and enhancement.[11]

The River Lyd[edit]

River Lyd approaching its confluence with the Severn.

The Lyd is a small river in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England.

The Lyd flows into the River Severn via the canal in Lydney.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata