Views of the Severn


Image Welch Bridge Shrewsbury. Thomas Harral, Picturesque Views of the Severn, 1824

The picture of the navigation that emerged from 40 or so years of research is complex, but necessarily incomplete. It will doubtless be amended by future generations. It is possible, if unlikely, that new sources may be uncovered – the records of the trustees of the towpaths below Coalbrookdale would be particularly valuable and it is virtually certain that Chancery cases have more to reveal. Digitally-aided family reconstitution may uncover patterns of relationships among bargemen that current historians have failed to notice. Archaeology, the examination of riverside buildings, wharfs and sections of towpath, still has much to reveal. A broader understanding of the Severn Navigation has emerged from the study of sources that became available between 1965 and 2005. It is to be hoped that in coming decades this understanding may be broadened and deepened.

Reflections on the Surface: Illuminating the River Severns historyDownload the supplement
Reflections on the Surface: Illuminating the River Severn’s history
By Barrie Trinder

Was there a Shropshire enlightenment?Download the article
Was there a Shropshire enlightenment?
By Barrie Trinder

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Image courtesy of: Shropshire Archives

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Image 1 iStock_6364273Reflections on the Surface: reviewing the River Severn’s history image 2 BTInvestigating the Severn image 3 BT large boatImportant Sources Iron-BridgeCharting the Severn Riverscape Iron BridgeRiver Traffic Image 6 RP 2257The Severn Trade image 7 BT WribbenhallShop goods and transit cargoes Iron-BridgeThe Coal Trade Views of the SevernUnderstanding the Vessels Views of the SevernUnderstanding the watermen Views of the SevernVarieties of Severn History Views of the SevernConclusion
Sources and Further Reading

Trinder, Barrie, Barges & Bargemen: a social history of the Upper Severn Navigation  1660- 1900 (Phillimore, 2005).