RSP Home River Severn Tales Chris Witts



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18th century: 19th century: 20th century: 21st century:

0897   Upton upon Severn           King Coenwulf mentions the foundation of the town

0973   Newtown                          Newtown came into existence. It was known as Llanfair in Cedewain

1154   Gloucester                         Construction began on the first Westgate Bridge

1171   Newnham on Severn         King Henry II sailed from Newnham on Severn for Ireland

1189   Gloucester                         Construction completed on the first Westgate Bridge

1210   Gloucester                         Severn frozen over for up to four miles above Gloucester

1230   Gloucester                         First bridge at Maisemore recorded

1280   Llanidloes                          Foundation stone for town laid, the first town on the River Severn

1457   Newnham on Severn         Records show that a ferry was here in 1457

1460   Gloucester                         Ashleworth Court built

1460   Gloucester                         Ashleworth Manor built

1483   Gloucester                         Duke of Buckingham’s flood at Gloucester

1515   Gloucester                         Tithe barn built at Ashleworth

1553   Severn                               King Henry VIII prohibited the taking out of elvers from the Severn

1558   Severn                               Queen Elizabeth I made the elver prohibition order permanent

1580   Gloucester                         Queen Elizabeth I grants Gloucester a Port Status

1605   Upton upon Severn            Stone bridge built across the river at Upton upon Severn

1607   Severn Estuary                   Large tide, heavy rain resulted in disastrous floods on the lower Severn

1638   Coalbrookdale                  Furnace constructed by Basil Brooke at Coalbrookdale

1643   Ripple                               The Parliamentarians defeated in battle

1644   Newnham on Severn         17 soldiers drown in Severn whilst crossing river in a boat

1651   Upton upon Severn            Fierce battle fought on the 29th August in Ripple field

1677   Severn                               King Charles II also banned fishing for elvers from the Severn

1678   Bristol                               Abraham Darby I born

1709   Coalbrookdale                  Abraham Darby I transfers his business from Bristol to Coalbrookdale

1711   Coalbrookdale                  Abraham Darby II born

1713   Shrewsbury                       John Gwynn born

1717   Coalbrookdale                  Abraham Darby I died

1723   Quatt                                 Sir John Wolryche died near Quatt whilst swimming with horse in Severn

1750   Coalbrookdale                  Abraham Darby III born

1757   Eskdale                             Thomas Telford born

1763   Gloucester                         Timber company of Price-Walker Ltd established

1763   Coalbrookdale                   Abraham Darby II died

1768   Atcham                              John Gwynn's bridge preserved as a monument

1770   Severn                               30 years of rain during this period

1774   Shrewsbury                       English Bridge built [Completely rebuilt between 1925 & 1927]

1775   Llandrinio                          Llandrinio Bridge built

1775   Ironbridge                         First meeting held to discuss a river bridge

1778   Severn                               King George II allows elvers to be taken from Severn

1779   Ironbridge                          Construction began on the world's first Iron Bridge

1780   Coalport                            First wharf built at Coalport

1780   Coalport                            Wooden bridge built over the Severn at Coalport

1781   Ironbridge                         Iron Bridge opened to traffic on 1st January

1781   Worcester                         Worcester Bridge opened [rebuilt 1847 & 1932]

1785   Gloucester                         8 people drowned from ferry at Maisemore after day out at fete

1786   Shrewsbury                       John Gwynn died

1786   Coalport                            Tar Tunnel at Coalport dug out

1786   Severn                               Royal Humane Society formed due to high death rate on Severn

1787   Severn                               First iron barge, The Trial, built by Mad Iron Wilkinson launched on Severn

1789   Coalbrookdale                  Abraham Darby III died

1790   Powys                               Thomas Penson born

1792   Gloucester                         Gloucester Prison opened. Build work had begun in 1787

1792   Montford                           Thomas Telford's first bridge opened in Montford, Shropshire

1793   Gloucester                         Construction of Gloucester & Berkeley Canal authorised by Parliament

1793   Gloucester                         Construction began of the building the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal

1793   Coalport                            Hay Incline Plane opened at Coalport, Shropshire

1793   Shropshire                         Shropshire Canal opened

1794   Gloucester                         Work began on building the Gloucester Dock basin

1794   Coalport                           Coalport established as a village

1795   Severn                               February 11th is the highest flood the River Severn has experienced

1795   Shrewsbury                       Welsh Bridge opened

1795   Coalport                           Coalport Bridge damaged by floods

1796   Buildwas                           New bridge designed by Thomas Telford built at Buildwas

1799   Gloucester                        Lack of money meant work ceased on building the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal

1799   Gloucester                         Construction of Gloucester Dock main basin completed

1799   Coalport                            28 china workers drowned in Severn at Coalport whilst crossing the river on ferry

1801   Bewdley                            Bewdley Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, opened

1802   Newnham on Severn         Fare paying ferry began from Newnham on Severn to Arlingham

1809   Severn                               A very serious flood recorded

1809   Newnham on Severn         3 men drowned in river off Newnham on Severn

1809   Gloucester                         The old Westgate Bridge demolished. Construction began of new one

1810   Bullo Pill                            Bullo Pill Dock opened for the export of Forest of Dean coal

1810   Lydney                              Lydney Docks developed as a port

1810   Newnham on Severn         A scheme was proposed for the construction of a tunnel under the Severn

1810   Bridgnorth                         Bridgnorth Bridge rebuilt to a design by Thomas Telford. [Also rebuilt in 1960]

1810   Coalport                            Chain making began at Coalport

1812   Gloucester                         Gloucester Lock opened from dock basin into the River Severn

1812   Newnham on Severn         On Friday 13th November water broke into the tunnel workings

1813   Lydney                              Lydney canal built

1817   Gloucester                         Building again the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal with Telford as consultant

1817   Severn                               Sir John Fowler born

1818   Severn                              Severn flooded 5 times and longest drought on record in the UK

1818   Tewkesbury                      In separate accidents 2 Naval Officers and a small boy drowned in the Severn

1818   Gloucester                         Small drydock constructed in Gloucester Docks

1818   Coalport                            Coalport Bridge built on the original wooden structure of 1777

1818   Coalport                            Coalport Bridge now constructed of iron

1821   Lydney                              Tidal Basin built at Lydney Docks

1821   Newtown                          Montgomeryshire Canal reached Newtown, where it terminated

1821   Caersws                            Stone bridge built at Caersws, Powys

1824   Gloucester                         Barge Arm opened in Gloucester Docks

1826   Gloucester                         North Warehouse built. Once occupied by Priday Metford & Co

1826   Llanidloes                          Long Bridge built of stone at Llanidloes

1826   Tewkesbury                       Mythe Bridge has early construction problems. Thomas Telford brought in to assist

1827   Gloucester                         Building of the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal completed

1827   Newtown                          Long Bridge, designed by Thomas Penson, opened at Newtown

1828   Holt                                   Holt Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, opened

1830   Gloucester                         Biddles Warehouse built

1831   Gloucester                         Thomas Telford's famous Over Bridge opened. Now preserved as a monument

1833   Gloucester                         Shiptons Warehouse built

1834   Gloucester                         Lock Warehouse built. Now occupied by the Antiques Centre

1834   Gloucester                         The Pump House, near the drydocks, was built

1834   Severn                               Thomas Telford died

1838   Gloucester                         Pillar Warehouse built

1839   Aust                                  Aust ferry sank with all hands lost

1840   Gloucester                         Reynolds, [or Sturges] Warehouse built

1840   Gloucester                         Vinings Warehouse built

1843   Llandinam                          The first iron bridge built in Montgomeryshire. Designed by Thomas Penson

1844   Bevere                              Bevere Island Bridge built in Worcestershire

1845   Gloucester                         Customs House built in Commercial Road

1846   Gloucester                         Phillpotts Warehouse built

1846   Gloucester                         Kimberley Warehouse built

1846   Gloucester                         Herbert Warehouse built

1848   Gloucester                         Offices located at top of Commercial Road built

1848   Arlingham                          On the 29th August the vicar of Arlingham drowned at the age of 40 years old

1848   Shrewsbury                       Railway Station built on top of Bridge over Severn

1849   Gloucester                         Victoria Basin opened in Gloucester Docks

1849   Gloucester                         Weighbridge house in Southgate Street built

1849   Gloucester                         Mariners Church in the docks built

1849   Gloucester                         Victoria Warehouse built

1851   Gloucester                         Albert Warehouse built

1852   Severn                              Serious widespread flood recorded

1852   Gloucester                         Llanthony Quay built for the Gloucester & Dean Forest Railway

1852   Abermule                          The Brynderwen Bridge, designed by Thomas Penson, opened

1853   Gloucester                         The large drydock built in Gloucester Docks

1855   Newnham on Severn         Elijah Rowles Phillips drowned in the Severn [see also 1875]

1858   Tewkesbury                      Upper Lode Lock built

1859   Powys                              Thomas Penson died

1859   Newtown                          Newtown to Llanidloes Railway completed

1861   Gloucester                         Britannia Warehouse built

1861   Upper Arley                      Victoria Railway Bridge now used by the Severn Valley Steam Railway

1861   Coalport                           L&NWR Railway opened at Coalport

1862   Gloucester                         Foster Oil & Cake Mill built

1862   Gloucester                         The original Llanthony Bridge built

1863   Gloucester                         Great Western Warehouse built

1864   Bewdley                            First train passed over Dowles Bridge on the 5th August

1864   Saxons Lode                     Railway line opened on the 16th May

1866   Newnham on Severn         Henry Brace aged 18yrs drowned in the Severn on the 28th June

1868   Caersws                            Train derailed at Caersws falling into Severn killing driver and fireman

1869   Gloucester                         Albert Warehouse converted to a flour mill

1870   Gloucester                         Alexandra Warehouse built

1870   Gloucester                         Llanthony Lock Keepers house built

1871   Gloucester                         Maisemore Weir built

1871   Gloucester                         Llanthony Weir built

1872   Severn                               Constant rain produced serious flooding

1873   Gloucester                         Llanthony Warehouse built

1873   Severn Estuary                  Construction began of the Severn Railway Tunnel

1873   Severn                               Elver fishing banned causing a public outcry

1874   Sharpness                          Sharpness [New] Docks opened

1875   Newnham on Severn         2 brothers drowned in Severn, [brothers of Elijah Rowles Phillips, see 1855]

1875   Sharpness                         Foundation stone of new Railway Bridge laid on the 3rd July

1876   Severn                              Act of Parliament passed to allow elver fishing in the Severn

1878   Sharpness                         8th January First fatality on the Severn Rlwy Bridge. John Tomkins of Ruardean  

1879   Sharpness                          William Aston of Lydney killed on the 1st March on the Severn Railway Bridge

1879   Sharpness                         Thomas Roberts of Viney Hill killed on the 3rd June on the Severn Railway Bridge

1879   Gatcombe                         Thomas Shaw was drowned when his boat overturned in the Severn

1879   Sharpness                          First train travelled over the Severn Railway Bridge with a private party on board

1879   Sharpness                         The Severn Railway Bridge was officially opened on the 17th October

1886   Gloucester                         Priday Metford & Co began milling in the City Flour Mills

1886   Severn Estuary                  The Severn Railway Tunnel was opened with a length of 4.75 miles long

1887   Sharpness                          Sailing ship PRINCE VICTOR lost off Sharpness with cargo of oil

1888   Gloucester                         Gloucester Quay wall built

1889   Newnham on Severn          2 boys aged 7yrs & 9yrs drowned in the Severn on the 17th July

1892   Gloucester                         Gloucester Lock deepened for the use by larger vessels

1892   Gloucester                         Monk Meadow Dock built

1892   Newnham on Severn          George T Widdows aged 13yrs drowned in the Severn

1898   Severn                               Sir John Fowler died

1899   Gloucester                         Downings Malt House built

1900   Gloucester                         GWR Railway line at Hempsted opened

1907   Coalport                            The interchange at Coalport of the Shropshire Canal with the Severn closed

1907   Coalport                            Hay Incline Plane closed

1910   Naval                                 HMS GLOUCESTER commissioned

1910   Sharpness                          Sharpness [Old] Dock ceased to be used

1912   Ironbridge                         Blists Hill furnace closed

1916   Frampton on Severn          Cadbury's factory at Frampton on Severn opened

1916   Newtown                          Newtown badly flooded

1919   Gloucester                         Construction of concrete ships began at Hempsted, the CRETERAMPART, etc.

1922   Naval                                HMS GLOUCESTER scrapped and bell presented to the city on 28th January

1922   Gloucester                         Construction ceased of concrete ships at Hempsted

1922   Newtown                          Newtown again badly affected by floods

1922   Jackfield                            Jackfield footbridge opened

1923   Severn                               Act of Parliament passed prohibiting the spearing of freshwater fish in the Severn

1924   Gloucester                         Last vessel passed through Llanthony Lock

1925   Gloucester                         First cargo of petroleum came to Gloucester by barge

1926   Bullo                                 Pill Bullo Pill Dock ceased trading

1926   Severn                               All worked stopped on the river during the General Strike

1926   Coalport                            Coalport China Works closed

1927   Worcester                         Petroleum began to be transported to Worcester and Stourport by barge

1927   Newtown                          Parsons Bridge swept away by floods

1928   Aust                                  Storm carried away pier at Aust. Ferry service in decline

1929   Severn                               John Harker Limited began trading on the Severn with the JANET A

1930   Ironbridge                         Iron Bridge closed to traffic

1933   Newtown                          Work began on rebuilding Parson's Bridge

1935   Severn                               Severn & Canal Carrying Co began carrying petroleum products on their barges

1936   Newtown                          Newtown badly flooded

1937   Ripple                               100 acres of land at Ripple used by the RAF for storage of petroleum

1937   Gloucester                         GWR Railway line at Hempsted closed

1938   Haw Bridge                       Torso discovered 10th January in Severn at Haw Bridge

1939   Gloucester                         John Harker Ltd and the Severn & Canal Carrying Co formed Gloucester Shipyard

1939   Severn Estuary                  Three tanker barges hit the Severn Railway Bridge. 6 men killed

1940   Gloucester                         Construction began of the new Castle Meads Power Station

1941   Naval                                HMS GLOUCESTER lost in action off Crete

1946   Severn Estuary                  Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust started with Sir Peter Scott

1946   Sharpness                         Sharpness Shipyard started by John Harker Limited

1947   Ironbridge                         Worst floods recorded at the Ironbridge Gorge

1947   Severn                               3 months of snow and freezing conditions. Quick thaw saw worst flooding on Severn

1948   Gloucester                         DARLEYDALE H, [tanker barge], lengthened at Gloucester Shipyard

1949   Severn Estuary                  Grain barge FOX ELMS hit Severn Railway Bridge and sank.

1950   Severn                               Severn River Board formed from the defunct Catchment Board

1950   Ironbridge                         Tolls removed from the Iron Bridge

1952   Coalport                            Last passenger train from Coalport on the L&NWR

1952   Jackfield                            Jackfield Tile Works closed

1954   Gloucestershire                  Stroudwater Canal closed

1958   Tirley                                Haw Bridge knocked down by tanker barge DARLEYDALE H. Skipper killed

1960   Newtown                          Newtown again suffered disastrous floods

1960   Sharpness                          On the 25th October two tanker barges hit the Severn Rlwy Bridge killing 5 crew men

1961   Severn Estuary                  Tanker barge BP EXPLORER overturned killing 5 crewmen

1962   Gloucester                         Priday Metford vacated North Warehouse and allowed to deteriorate

1963   Severn                               Severn River Board took delivery of their new barge RIPARIAN

1963   Ironbridge                         The GWR at Ironbridge closed

1964   Powys                               Construction began of the Clywedog Dam

1964   Newtown                          Newtown suffering from yet more flooding

1965   Gloucester                         New timber yards built at Monk Meadow Quay

1966   Newtown                          Severn River Authority begin a flood defence scheme for the town

1967   Powys                               Construction of the Clywedog Dam completed

1967   Sharpness                         Training ship VINDICATRIX towed away for scrapping at Newport

1968   Severn                               9th and 10th July 125mm of rain fell causing local flooding

1968   Oldbury                             Oldbury Nuclear Power Station began producing electricity for the National Grid

1968   Sharpness                          Severn Railway Bridge demolished

1969   Severn                               Regent tanker barges ceased trading on the Severn

1969   Severn                               Bowker & King Limited began trading in the Bristol Channel

1970   Jackfield                            Maws Tile Works at Jackfield closed

1972   Gloucester                         Construction began of a new Westgate Bridge

1974   Gloucester                         Construction completed of the new Westgate Bridge

1975   Gloucester                         John Harker Limited ceased trading on the Severn

1977   Severn Estuary                  Severn Auxiliary Rescue Association [SARA] formed

1983   Jackfield                            Marshall Osborne foundry at Jackfield closed

1985   Llandinam                          Llandinam won the best kept village in Wales title

1987   Gloucester                         Llanthony Warehouse opened as the National Waterways Museum

1989   Severn                              The Severn Way [East Bank] officially opened

1992   Powys                               First Bridge on the Severn opened by Lady Hooson

1992   Shrewsbury                       Three bridges built over the Severn on the huge Shrewsbury Bypass

1992   Severn Estuary                  Construction began on the Second Severn Crossing

1994   Gloucester                         Priday Metford & Co closed down the flour mill at the City Flour Mills

1996   Severn Estuary                  The Second Severn Crossing officially opened on the 5th June by HRH Prince Charles

1999   Gloucester                         Construction began on replacing Westgate Bridge with new bridge

2007   Gloucester                         20th July: 90mm of rain fell over city and caused widespread local flooding.

2007   Tewkesbury                      22nd July: Mythe Waterworks out of action due to Severn flood levels.

2007   Gloucester                         July and August, Gloucester and Cheltenham without domestic water for some time

2014   River Severn                     Record amount of rain fell over SW England for January & February. Much flooding.


9th century: 10th century: 12th century: 13th century: 15th century: 16th century: 17th century:

18th century: 19th century: 20th century: 21st century:

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