Sharpness

Sharpness

[shahrp]

Sharpness is an English port in Gloucestershire, one of the most inland in Britain, and eighth largest in the South West. It is on the River Severn at , at a point where the tidal range, though less than at Avonmouth downstream (14 m typical spring tide), is still large (10 m typical spring).

The village of Sharpness is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, Sharpness, as compared to the common noun, which has the emphasis on the first syllable.

The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal starts here, and the river used to be crossed here by the Severn Railway Bridge - however, this was damaged beyond repair by a ship collision in 1960. (Proposals to reinstate a river-crossing at this point are frequently made especially by the local authorities in Lydney, which lies almost opposite Sharpness).

The port remains connected to the main Gloucester to Bristol railway line with its junction at the site of the former Berkeley Road station. The line is rarely used (if ever) although a steam special visited the line in April 2007, making two journeys from Gloucester. The locomotive (The Lancashire Fusilier) ran round its train using the loop at Sharpness. From the branch line, protected by locked gates, rails remain in situ around the docks and are linked to the line from Berkeley Road, however the condition of the track makes it look unlikely that any of them are usable.

The Severn Area Rescue Association maintain a rescue station here.

Just to the south lies Berkeley.

The Port Authority for the impounded dock is British Waterways, but the quayside activities are run by Sharpness Dock Limited. The competent harbour authority for the river from the Severn Road Bridges up to Sharpness is Gloucester Harbour Trustees - they are responsible for navigation aids in the channel and for the provision of pilots. Pilotage up the river is compulsory (except for exemption holders) for all vessels over 100 deadweight tons.

External links

  • Time-lapse videos of changing tides

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