The 16 mile Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal, (as it was originally known), was opened in 1827 and was deemed the largest in the UK. In years past tall sailing ships would grace the skyline, followed by motor coasters from Holland and Germany. Numerous motor barges would pass through the docks on their way to Worcester and beyond.
All this changed come the opening of the M5 motorway through Gloucestershire. Ships no longer trade to Gloucester, the docks being marketed as a tourist attraction.