Lydney Canal

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.

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

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]


  • 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 LydEdit

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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lydney Harbour brochure
  2. ^ Photo in Francis Frith Collection
  3. ^ Lydney Area in Partnership website
  4. ^ Forest of Dean Railways Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Joseph Priestley (1831). Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways of Great Britain.
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Lydney Docks". Gloucestershire County Council. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata