The Company of Proprietors
of the Stroudwater Navigation

From The Trustees

Not Many People Know That!!

Michael Caine likes to use the phrase “Not many people know that” – so how many of you know

  • that the Stroudwater Canal is owned by the oldest surviving canal company in the World. The Company of Proprietors of The Stroudwater Navigation was established by Act of Parliament in the 1730's.

  • that 60% of the Company’s shares are held in Trust for “the good of the people in districts local to the canal” thereby giving them a direct interest in the canal’s well being.

  • that a complete archive documenting the detailed workings of the Company exists and is being made available in digital form for general information and for academic and historical studies.

  • that restoration work is well underway.

The Stroud valleys became rich and prosperous because they had access to water power, to raw materials and to good transport routes to export local products. The canal played a vital role in those times past, and its restoration and future use holds the potential to bring further benefits to the town and its surrounding area. Judging by local opinion polls and the growing membership of the Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) which, with a membership of over 7000, is already the largest canal society in the UK by a factor of two, there are a huge number of people who support the restoration work.

There are plans for the generation of “green” electricity via a hydro-electric scheme at Dudbridge Locks and the availability of moorings close to Stroud should encourage local trade. The restored tow-paths now offer safe routes for cyclists and good opportunities for walkers to enjoy a waterside stroll! But the biggest, wider benefit may well come from using the canal system, which links the river Severn with the river Thames, for the transport of water, from west to east! The utility company, Thames Water, is currently interested in this possibility which could lead to the rapid restoration of the entire canal system from Saul to Lechlade.

There are now many visible signs that local restoration is well underway. The work is being carried out under the Stroud District Council. The Stroud Valley Canal Company (SVCC) will be responsible for operating and maintaining the canal following restoration. The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Homes and Community Association (formerly the South-West Regional Development Agency) and Stroud D.C are providing the bulk of the finance. But without the efforts of many volunteers working under the guidance of the CCT, progress and completion would be impossible. The CCT operates excellent information centres at Wallbridge, in the centre of Stroud, and at Saul Junction. They offer a warm welcome to visitors and they are always ready to recruit more members.

The Trustees, who hold 60% of the Company's shares, meet regularly with the Directors of the Company of Proprietors who are currently working to develop a strategy for the future operation and development of the canal. The Chairman of the Trustees is Jolyon Gardiner who can be contacted via the Clerk (see below).

Contact Us:

The clerk to the company can be contacted by email by clicking HERE.

Home   | About Us  | Heritage | Events  | Pictures   | Boat Registration Scheme  | Guides | Contacts | Links

This document is maintained by .
Copyright © 2010 Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation; all other rights reserved