Purton Hulks boat graveyard

Posted on 03. Jun, 2012 by in History, Tourism

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Inverted Ear Music writes in 2009: Between 1909 and 1965, some 81 vessels were run aground along this stretch of the Severn, near Purton, Gloucestershire, England, to create a makeshift tidal erosion barrier to reinforce the narrow strip of land between the river and the Gloucester and Sharpness canal.

Barges, trows and schooners were “hulked” at high tide, and have since filled with silt, creating an intriguing and spectral scene for those chancing upon them. One of the wrecks, the schooner “Katherine Ellen”, was impounded in 1921 for running guns to the IRA.

Sadly, the site is unprotected and the remains are in danger of disappearing altogether, already having been picked clean of many artifacts that should really have found their way into a museum.

Those visiting from the canal swing-bridge will encounter the contrastingly kitsch sight of a water feature in a shed close to a row of cottages that themselves almost resemble an upturned boat. Garden gnomes, a tiny windmill, figures from cinema, including Harry Potter, can be seen and smiled at, all to the soundtrack of budgerigars chattering in an aviary.


Music by Shuddermen “Stranded On The Dribbling Tide”

About Philip

Director and Co-Founder of Stroud Community TV

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