Image: Stourport, Worcestershire, from above the Bridge. Stourport was a creation of the Industrial Revolution. The opening of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal in 1771 led to the growth of a new town where the canal met the Severn.


“A little below Lickhill, on a sudden turn of the Severn, the bridge and town of Stourport break most pleasingly on the view. On the left, approaching the bridge, are some vinegar works, a foundry, and a spinning manufactory.

The flourishing town of Stourport affords a striking instance of the advantages which result from commercial industry, when judiciously exercised. Scarcely more than fifty years ago, the site which it occupies was a sandy barren, unprofitable heath, with only a few lonely cottages, exhibiting a picture of devastation and poverty.

At this time Stourport contains from three to four hundred houses, with numerous wharfs and warehouses. The streets are good; some of the dwellings may be termed elegant; and most of them are respectable, neat, and commodious. The town resembles a sea-port in the heart of the kingdom.

The commercial creation of Stourport…is attributable to the Trent and Severn, or Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, the basin of which…forms a dépôt of communication between the central and western parts of the kingdom. This canal, one of the earliest works of the celebrated Brindley, was commenced about the year 1768, and finished in 1771, at an expense of £105,000….It is truly astonishing to observe the quantities of coal, iron, grain, flour, hops, apples, china ware, and other goods which are daily and hourly in transit by this communication.”

Harral, vol. 2 p1-4

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Image creators: Image from Thomas Harral, Picturesque Views of the Severn, 1824.
Image courtesy of: Shropshire Records and Research

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1532-0A Journey down the Severn from Thomas Harral’s Picturesque Views of the River (1824) 562-0Introduction: the Severn Waterway 517-0Poetry and Visions of the River Severn 514-0The Severn and its Origins in Wales 516-0Newtown to Montgomery 518-0Powis Castle to Welshpool 519-0Welshpool to Shrewsbury 520-0Shrewsbury 521-0The English Bridge, Shrewsbury 522-0The Welsh Bridge, Shrewsbury 524-0Atcham Bridge, Shropshire 525-0The Wrekin 526-0Buildwas Bridge and the Severn Earthquake of 1773 529-0Coalbrookdale and the Ironbridge 530-0Madeley, Broseley and Lilleshall 535-0Bridgnorth 536-0Bridgnorth’s Economy 537-0Bridgnorth Castle 538-0Quatford and the nearby Landscape 539-0Bewdley 540-0The Wyre Forest 542-0Stourport 543-0Stourport Bridge 545-0Worcester 546-0Worcester to Upton-on-Severn 547-0Tewkesbury 550-0Gloucester 551-0Gloucester’s Economy and the Severn Trade