Stafford Riverway Link - Boats into Stafford

Updated June 10

The Aim of the Project

We will continue working with Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency and others to advance the project by:

BBC Midlands Today video

"Stafford's Lost Riverway Link" (Run the Cut series by Phil Carr) (May 2020)

History and Heritage
Work started on the 1½ mile navigation in 1814 to link Stafford Town Centre with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Baswich. It involved constructing a roving bridge, basin, aqueduct, lock and lock house at Baswich, and straightening and deepening the River Sow. In the centre of Stafford, a short channel was cut parallel to the river leading to a coal wharf near Green Bridge. The waterway opened in 1816 and was navigable until the 1920s. Although its main purpose was to carry “coals, lime and merchandise”, the waterway was popular with pleasure boaters. It was owned by Lord Stafford and leased to the Staffs & Worcs Canal Company from 1838 until 1927.

At Baswich, the junction with the main canal was blocked-off in 1929 and the aqueduct trough removed. The lock house was occupied until 1956 and demolished soon after. The roving bridge and remains of the lock survived until they were demolished in the 1970s, although traces of this bridge and the pound walls are still visible. Weir levels on the river have been changed, and the Rivers Sow and Penk realigned. The river channel and all the other bridges into Stafford are still in place, and parts of the towpath have been upgraded. The channel in Stafford was infilled in 1930 and the coal wharf site is now part of the Riverside Retail and Leisure Complex opened in 2016.