The narrow bank between the canal and the River Severn to the north of the Severn Railway Bridge since 1909 has been used as a graveyard for old barges, with the aim of protecting the bank from erosion by the strong currents in the river.
The first barges were beached on the banks in 1909 when it was found that the river was eroding the bank. Further barges were added at intervals up to the early 1970s. Each vessel was brought from Sharpness docks on a high spring tide, towed by a tug boat and released towards the shore so that it rowed up the bank. Holes were made in the vessel in order that silt would deposit inside.
Over the years as a result of the vessels being beached the bank has built up and in some cases later vessels are lying on earlier ones. Research has identified the remains of 30 vessels, most being of wooden construction, or steel, however a few barges are made of concrete. These concrete barges date from the time of the second world war. Some vessels can be clearly seen on top of the bank, others are seen protruding through the grassy bank. Others are beneath the bank. Some have been damaged by souvenir hunters, others vandalised.
As mentioned previously most are wooden, 6 are made of concrete and 18 were steel barge and lighters. One concrete barge was rescued and removed to a museum at Gloucester docks.
The Purton Hulks are now under the protection of both the British Waterways, friends of Purton, English Heritage, Natural England and county archaeologists. It is hoped that the Purton hulks will be protected and admired by further generations to come.
There are a number of walks setting out from the Lammastide at New Brookend. One such walk takes you from the Lammastide to the quiet sleepy village of Purton on the Gloucester & Sharpness canal. Purton in the 1820s was very busy. Here you will find the Berkeley Arms a nice little pub overlooking the river Severn. As you walk along the canal towards Sharpness you will see the Purton Hulks graveyard. A fair number of barges and colliers rammed into the mud bank in order to stabilise the river bank and canal. Next is the remains of the Severn railway bridge that spanned the Severn until the night of 25th October 1960 when at night in thick fog it was struck by two tethered tankers. The tankers hit one of the bridge supports exploding and killing five crew members. One of the bridge spans was brought down. Later the bridge was blown up and removed.
We have a number of walks around the Lammastide Inn for ramblers and with our large car parking facility we welcome coach parties. At the Lammastide Inn we hold leaflets of different walks which we are able to give out. We are currently advertising our walks for ramblers in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, but all walkers and ramblers are welcome. For further information telephone the Lammastide Inn on 01453 811337.
We have a large car parking facility at the Lammastide Inn and we welcome coach parties. Please ring to let us know you're coming.
Pub Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri:
12.00pm - 3.00pm
6.00pm - 12.00pm
Sat - Sun: 12.00pm - 12.00pm
Monday Lunch Closed untill Spring
Tue - Fri:
Lunch: 12.00pm - 2.00pm
6.00pm - 9.00pm
Sat: 12pm - 2.00pm
6.00pm - 9.30pm
Sun: 12.00pm - 8.00pm
Grill Night - Wednesday Nights:
Includes Free bottle of house red or white wine with every two steaks purchased.
Fish when available.
The Lammastide Inn
Tel: 01453 811337