Stort Surveys


Lower to Harlow
Feakes to Sth Mill



The 20th century Stort surveys are of little interest but are included for the sake of completeness.  Their chief value was to provide the sequence and dates of the rebuilding of the Stort locks by the Lee Conservancy.  One gets the impression that the surveys were probably a pleasant day out of the office, with little note being taken of the state of the Navigation.

John Grundy's 1772 "survey notes" of the Stort are held at the Brotherton Library in Leeds and were found and transcribed by John H Boyes.  The survey came about as a result of a request from the Stort Proprietors following questions raised by Paul Field Esq and Mr Black.

There were, however, detailed surveys carried out by the engineers of the River Lee Trust and the Lee Conservancy Board, as a preparation for their possible  purchase of the Stort. The reports from the Surveys, where of particular interest, are shown on the individual lock pages.  You can read the full, transcribed, reports by clicking on the links below.

The surveys for the River Lee Trust were made in August 1844 by J. R. Griggs and January 1858 by Nathaniel Beardmore.  The first for the Lee Conservancy was made in May 1870, again by Beardmore. The report on the Buildings at Bishops Stortford by Mr Young, mentioned in the Survey, was actually submitted by a Mr. George Laing. 

The next surveys were carried out by Joe Childs in April 1880 and April 1884Charles Tween made the last survey (before the Stort became the property of the Conservancy) in October 1901. 

I have added for interest, the report written by George Corble, the Clerk to the Conservancy, concerning the purchase of the Stort in 1902.  You will see that he doubted the wisdom of taking over the river!

I have also transcribed a draft memo sent to Messrs Trenchard and Gardner, both board members of the Lee Conservancy in 1902 and the shorthand notes of a conference held at the Great Eastern Hotel in 1909 under the Chairmanship of Herbert Nield M.P.  Comparison of these will reveal that the takeover of the Stort was a protracted affair!

Slightly off subject but interesting nonetheless, is this letter from 1779 regarding Tolls on the Stort....





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This site was last updated 23-Jan-2014