Gloucester and Sharpness Canal

Canal in Gloucester

Gloucester And Sharpness Canal At Frampton On Severn
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Celuici

The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal also known as the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal is a canal in the west of England, between Gloucester and Sharpness. For much of its length it runs close to the tidal River Severn, but cuts off a significant loop in the river, at a once-dangerous bend near Arlingham. It was once the broadest and deepest canal in the world.

The canal is often said to be 16 miles long, 16ft deep and to have 16 bridges. In fact it was intended to be 18ft deep in the centre to accommodate the keels of large sailing ships, but it was not dredged to the full depth because in later years steamers had flatter bottoms and the under-water curvature of the bridge-holes became limiting.

There were originally 16 bridges across the canal and one across Gloucester Lock. Four railway bridges were added later, two at Sharpness also being road bridges. Two road and two rail bridges have been removed, but new road bridges were added in 2007 and 2008, and so the total is currently 18 across the canal and one across Gloucester Lock.

The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Gloucester!

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Visiting Gloucester and Sharpness Canal

Duration: 2 hours

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