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Gloucestershire Brimscombe Port
A Barge / Tunnel
Edge: PAYABLE AT BRIMSCOMBE PORT x
Dalton & Hamer: 61
On the front side there is a
flat-bottomed barge under sail and a circular legend: "THAMES AND SEVERN CANAL",
at the bottom of the date "MDCCXCV".
The reverse side shows the entrance to the Thames Severn Canal Tunnel under Supperton Hill.
Edge lettering: "PAYABLE AT BRINSCOMBE PORT x" (Payable at Brinscombe Port).
Engraver and manufacturer Hancok.
There is a rare type of token with sails separated by vertical stripes. This stamp was damaged during the minting process and was replaced by a variant with simple sails.
The Thames Severn Canal linked the River Severn from Walbridge near Stroud to the Thames under Lechlade and, including the branch at Cirencester, was about 30 miles long. At the same time, the length of the Sapperton Tunnel was about 2.5 miles, which was a technical triumph in those days. The canal linked London to Birmingham via the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal systems and linked the capital to Yorkshire, Cheshire, the Welsh border counties and South West England, while road transport was unreliable and very costly.