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Stourport-on-Severn Town Council

The past, present and the future
Places to visit
Things to do
Hartlebury Castle
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Stourport-on-Severn Town Council Contact Information

Stourport-on-Severn Town Council,
Civic Centre New Street,
DY13 8UJ

Tel: 01299 877214

Email: Stourport-on-Severn Council

The past, present and the future

Stourport-on-Severn, with a population of over 19,000, is uniquely the only town in Britain built solely as a consequence of the coming of the canals. Before the growth of the town there existed a small hamlet called Lower Mitton. Two black and white houses from circa 1600 can still be found in Mitton Street.

Working canal with small shop Popular legend has it that James Brindley chose Stourport rather than Bewdley for his canal because the citizens of Bewdley did not want his ‘stinking ditch’ passing through their town. The reality is that Stourport made far more sense from a topographical point of view. A canal joining the River Severn at

Bewdley would have needed to cross several hills. Joining the Severn at Stourport it could follow the Stour valley and this obviously made construction much cheaper.

The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal linked the River Severn with the Trent and Mersey and as a result, after Birmingham, Stourport became the busiest inland port in the Midlands. The canal opened to Stourport in 1771 and by 1812 five canal basins had been built. In 1775 the first Stourport Bridge across the Severn was built by the Canal Company.

The town rapidly expanded and by the 1780’s there were brass and iron foundries, a vinegar works, tan yards, worsted spinning mills, carpet mills, barge and boat building yards, warehouses, shops, houses and inns. By 1795 it had 200 houses and 1300 inhabitants.

The railway arrived in 1862 and was to pose a major challenge to the canal. Following the arrival of the railway the town extended out to Newtown with Brindley Street being the main arterial road through the new residential area.

During the twentieth century new industries came to the town and residential expansion continued. Some of the first local authority housing in the country was built in Park Crescent and Olive Grove. Large private housing developments grew up along Windermere Way and Stagborough Way in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Today, Stourport-on-Severn has developed into a popular tourist town with many attractions and events for all of the family to enjoy.

The regeneration of the Stourport Canal Basins was completed in 2008 and has returned the area to its Georgian splendour, creating an exciting and informative visitor attraction. The Clock Warehouse, currently the home of Stourport Yacht Club, is a focal point of the Basin. The building is graced by a magnificent clock provided by public subscription and made by Samuel Thorpe, of Abberley, a Clockmaker of renown. The clock was made in 1812 and placed on the Clock Warehouse in 1813 as a temporary location until a more suitable location for the clock could be found. After nearly 200 years it is assumed that a more suitable location could not be found!Town Clock Turret

The Town has its own Local Council, the Stourport-on-Severn Town Council which came into being on the 1st April, 1974, following the major reorganisation of Local Government in that year. The Town Council is effectively the “Parish” Council for the Town and its Offices are located in the District Council’s Office Block at the Civic Centre, New Street, Stourport-on-Severn, DY13 8UJ. The Town Council has 18 elected Members. The Town is divided into six electoral Wards, each returning three Town Council Members. From among their number at the Annual Council Meeting held each May a Town Mayor is elected. The Town Council owns and maintains parkland, open space land, two allotment sites, a Cemetery, common land and Town Centre Gardens which include a War Memorial Garden.

Stourport-on-Severn’s Twin Town is Villeneuve-Ie-Roi, about 8 miles from Paris and with easy access to Fontainebleau and Versailles. The two Towns, twinned since 1971, are similar in size and only an hour apart by air. Contacts have been arranged principally through the two local Councils for the Towns and they have been many and varied.

Work begun in the autumn of 2006 to completely refurbish the River Severn Bridge has been completed by the Worcestershire County Council. The present Bridge was constructed in 1870. After completion of the refurbishment Worcestershire County Council carried out enhancements to Bridge Street which included reconstruction of the Street and the introduction of attractive street furniture sympathetic in style to the Town Centre Conservation Area. For the future, strategies are being evolved which it is hoped will lead to further improvements in the appearance of the Street and, particularly important, the creation of a vista from Bridge Street to the Canal Basin Area by providing access points in the present, built frontage on the eastern side of Bridge Street.

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication and the statements contained herein are believed to be correct, the publishers and promoters cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies. Reproduction of any part of this publication in any format, without permission, is strictly forbidden.