Dallaway Canal

Dallaway's Lock is the 7th lock on the Thames & Severn Canal.

It is the last lock before the canal reached Brimscombe Port.

It also is known as Gough's Orchard Lock or Lewis's Lock

The possibility of a canal linking Stroud to the River Severn had been discussed from the early 18th century. At that time roads were poor and this resulted in items such as coal or grain costing considerably more in Stroud than in Gloucester or Bristol. Following several earlier unsuccessful attempts, construction of the Stroudwater canal commenced in 1774.

Work started at Framilode, on the banks of the River Severn. The whole eight and a quarter miles of the canal, to its terminus at Wallbridge, on the outskirts of Stroud, was opened on Wednesday 21 July 1779. The St. Laurence Church, Stroud parish register, after the entries for 1779, details the opening of the canal.

The main undertakers at the commencement of the scheme were:- Richard ALDRIDGE; Thomas BAYLIS ( 1729 - ?); William DALLAWAY (1721-1776); Benjamin GRAZEBROOK (1731-died after 1797); George HAWKER (? - 1786); John HOLLINGS; (?-1799); William KNIGHT (? - 1786); James WATHEN; James WINCHCOMBE (?-1780).

Carpentry and brickwork was mainly carried out by locally recruited craftsmen, but their are indications that the majority of the navvies came from elsewhere. Building of the canal was mired in controversy, with one lawsuit, two acts of Parliament and numerous disputes with land and mill owners. This is well documented in records in the Gloucestershire Records Office, and in the book, "the Stroudwater Canal". If your ancestors were owners or tenants of land or mills in the area during that period, I recommend perusal of the records or the book.

Construction of the Thames and Severn canal commenced in 1783, and was completed in 1789. This connected to the Stroudwater canal at Wallbridge. On Thursday 14 August 1788 King George 3rd and Queen Charlotte, accompanied by the three eldest Princesses visited the canal. The King and Queen, having spent some weeks at Cheltenham, passed through Painswick and Stroud to Wallbridge, where they saw a vessel pass through the lock. Construction of the Gloucester and Berkeley canal commenced in 1794.

In 1820 a junction was constructed between this canal and the Stroudwater canal, and the Gloucester and Berkeley canal was completed in 1827. The Thames and Severn Canal was closed in stages; Inglesham to Chalford in 1927; Chalford to Wallbridge in 1933; and finally the original Stroudwater Canal closed in 1954. Much of the Canal has been filled in, but 1972 saw the formation of the Stroudwater Canal Society (later renamed the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn Canal Trust). The Gloucester and Berkeley Canal (now normally referred to as the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal) remains open and viable.

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