Photo: Oxenhall Lock, Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal by John Ellis
(34 miles, Line of canal in various ownerships)
Construction of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal commenced at the river Severn near Gloucester in 1792, was completed to Ledbury by 1798, but took until 1845 to extend the full 34 miles to Hereford. The Canal was closed in 1881 to allow the construction of the Ledbury to Gloucester railway (axed by Dr Beeching in 1964). The Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust proposes full restoration. The reconstruction of Over Basin, where the Canal enters the West Channel of the river Severn, was achieved in 2000 thanks to the co-ordinated national effort of WRG and Canal Trust volunteers. The Trust’s volunteers have fitted out and opened The Wharf House; the shell of the new building being provided by the adjacent housing developer as part of a ‘planning gain’ package negotiated by the Trust. This building comprises a visitor centre, shop and tea rooms/restaurant.
At Oxenhall, the only known surviving lock, a listed structure, was completed and re-opened in 2004. In 2008, the Trust acquired Llanthony Lock and adjacent cottages and footbridge, securing a route for re-connection to the Severn. The Trust has also worked for 5 years with Dymock Parish Council to develop a project that will see a section of canal built whilst meeting the long term needs of the community. In November 2011 a planning application was submitted as part of the Dymock Partnership Project.