Purton lies on the southern bank of the River Severn about 1⁄2 mile north of the port of Sharpness. The Severn is the longest river in the United Kingdom.
Known as the Purton Ships Graveyard or Purton Hulks the area has a large number of purposely abandoned boats and ships that were beached on this area of the River Severn with the aim of reinforcing the river bank.
A riverbank collapse in 1909 led to concerns about the strong currents of the River and its erosive power putting at risk the Gloucester and Sharpness canal so a quick resolution was required. Between 1909 and 1970’s at regular intervals barges, trows and schooners were taken out on the tide, towed by a tug towards the shore and then charged up the bank. Holes were then made in the hull to allow the tides to deposit the silt inside. Most vessels were beached in the 1950’s and now as a result the ground level has built up meaning you can now see a few barges lying on top of earlier ones.
This unusual site with the vessels in considerable decay forms the largest ship graveyard in the mainland and explanatory boards help visitors understand more about the vessels and site.
|Season (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)|
From main A38 take turning signposted Breadstone Halmore – Purton.Travel for 2 miles, take right turning on sharp left hand bend, signposted Purton. As you enter the village of Purton, Park in car park opposite the church.
Public Transport Directions
Nearest rail station Cam & Dursley