Gloucester Docks

The river Severn ( the longest river   in Britain ) has been a very important highway for goods for over two thousand   years. When the Romans decided to establish a fort at Gloucester DocksGloucester, their decision   must surely have been based not only as a defensive structure but as a means of   supplying men and materials between the midlands and Wales. Today the docks are used more for leisure than work.


The Saxon and medieval quay   was first sited to the north of Westgate street on the banks of the third branch   of the river ( now vanished ) that joined the present east channel. The first   record of this quay is 1390. It was built following the silting up of the   original channel in the thirteenth century.

We now have the Gloucester Quays shopping centre, a residential area with flats being built in the old warehouses, a large change from the old working docks.

The docks were always a favourite site for   TV programs such as ” The Onedin Line”. Many film makers have also used   Gloucester Docks

The National Waterways museum is another   favourite complete with films and working exhibits .

Don’t miss a visit to the military museum   and find out why the local regiment were called The Glorious Gloucesters   .

There are many other attractions including , shops and restaurants and the National waterways museum. We now also have a new shopping outlet – Gloucester Quays

Wool, cloth, corn and iron were shipped out of   Gloucester during the medieval period. In 1580 Queen Elizabeth granted   Gloucester the status of a port and a custom house was opened in the following   year.

Over the next two hundred   years trade continued to grow. In 1780 over 600 ships were recorded as having   berthed at Gloucester docks. Because the larger ships   could only approach Gloucester on the highest spring tides a proposal was made   to open a canal to Berkley. This would not only bypass the obstruction but would   link with the Stroudwater and Thames canals opening a direct route to the   midlands and London. An act of parliament was made in 1793 and the canal was   started the following year.