The River Severn, a river flowing through landscape and time


This blog is an exploration into the importance of presenting the past through personal accounts, landscape, and artefacts, in relation to the River Severn, and with reference to the public history methods of Brian Waters.

It is important to understand that the landscape of the river Severn is a very different place today, from how it was in the past and that these changes are part of an ongoing process that continues. Only a generation back, prior to our modern road transport systems, Britain’s transport was in the main provided by water: sea, river and canals. Surprisingly the railway system, as big as it was did not have the capacity to support all of our trade moment, therefore river and canal systems provided the nation with the means of movement for people and goods. The skills employed in water transport systems also enabled Britain to trade with many other countries. The Severn, like most other rivers in Britain also was a major provider of food; there were over 300 fixed engine fisheries in the estuary alone, and a fish weir every mile all the way up the Severn into Wales. The evidence of these fish weirs or bylets associated with them are still visible to this day. So for the sake of this blog, it is important to have a picture and an understanding of how things were in past years.

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