A former salt warehouse, built circa 1789, as part of the development of Brimscombe Port, the interchange between the Stroudwater and Thames and Severn canals.
Reason for Listing
The salt warehouse at Brimscombe Port, dating from circa 1789, is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest: the building is a relatively rare surviving example of a former salt warehouse, retaining evidence of its heated walls designed to prevent salt from becoming damp
Historic interest: as part of the development of the nationally-significant interchange between the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames and Severn Canal
Group value: with the nearby Brimscombe Port Mill (listed Grade II)
The Stroudwater Navigation, built in 1775-9, was designed to link the River Severn at Framilode to Stroud, allowing coal to be brought from Shropshire, Staffordshire and the Forest of Dean to the textile mills of the Stroud valleys. The Thames and Severn Canal, constructed in 1783-9, was designed to run eastwards from Stroud, eventually linking the River Severn to the River Thames at Inglesham, near Lechlade. The Cotswold Canals, as they are also known, were generally successful, though the Thames and Severn in particular suffered serious technical failings which compromised its profitability; despite this, both canals continued in use well into the C20.
Brimscombe Port with its boatyard was the principal wharf on the Thames and Severn Canal. The basin was 700 feet (circa 213m) by 250 feet (circa 76m), was bounded by wharves, and had an island at the centre which provided secure storage for coal. The inland port was constructed for the transference of cargoes from the Severn trows to the Thames barges, and a building by the basin, put up by Thomas Cook in 1789, housed the company offices, agent's dwelling, and warehouses. Other buildings followed very soon after, including warehouses and the salt warehouse. A transit shed was set up in 1801 near the north wharf wall; a small warehouse was erected on the island in the middle of the basin, and in 1845, a boat-weighing machine was set up. Brimscombe Port Mill, to the west of the salt warehouse, was recorded by 1844 as a grist mill, and later became a textile mill. In the C20, the company building became a technical college, and Port Mill was converted to offices. The basin at Brimscombe and a short length of the Thames and Severn canal on either side were sold to the adjoining factories during the 1950s and 1960s and filled, and the company building was demolished in 1966. The basin is due to be dug out and the area around redeveloped as part of the restoration of the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames and Severn Canal. The salt warehouse was used to store salt brought to the port for use in the dyeing of textiles.
MATERIALS: the building is constructed from squared and coursed local limestone, with large limestone quoins and dressings; the stack is red brick, and the roof is covered in plain clay tile.
PLAN: the salt warehouse is a small rectangle on plan.
EXTERIOR: the building is of two storeys, with a pitched roof. The main elevation has a ground-floor double doorway with some brick replacement to the surround, under a timber lintel. The doorway is flanked by louvred window openings with timber mullions. The first floor has a central taking-in door with ventilation slits to either side. The gable ends have similar ventilation slits to the first floor. The rear elevation has a ground-floor window similar to those to the front, and ventilation slits above.
INTERIOR: not inspected, but understood to retain evidence of its heated walls.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.