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Reflections on the Surface: reviewing the River Severn’s history

Image: Ironbridge in Telford

Historians of the West Midlands have always recognised the importance of the River Severn navigation, yet its significance has often been clouded by cliché – it is not helpful to call the river the ‘M1 motorway of its day’ and no single body of documents illuminates the history of the Severn Navigation.

This article attempts to show how our understanding of the navigation has increased, through the opening up of new sources but also through the re-casting of the ways in which we think about the river and its relationship to the economy of the West Midlands.

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 credits: Country Style Photograpy/istock 6364273
Text by: Barrie Trinder
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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