The Severn Estuary is one of the UK’s national heritage jewels, known the world over for its massive tidal range and internationally important habitat, but even more so for its history of exporting and as one of the UK’s principle sea links to the rest of the world.
Lydney Harbour has played a full part in making the Severn Estuary the gateway from the South West to the rest of the world. For these reasons it has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Lydney.
The current canal and basin complex was built by the Severn and Wye Railway and Canal Company between 1810 and 1813. Initially connected to the Forest of Dean by tramroad a conventional railway freight branch line was laid which brought coal for export.
Opened during World War II Pine End Works, adjacent to the harbour, a wartime shadow factory imported wood through the port until its closure around 1986. Here wooden components for a range of aircraft including war time Mosquitos and Hansa gliders were produced.
Today the harbour handles private pleasure craft though many of its surviving historic features which date back to the Industrial Revolution have been conserved and interpretation boards erected to enable visitors interpret the past.