infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Stourport-on-Severn
latitude= 52.34182
longitude= -2.27624
population = 19,713
shire_district= Wyre Forest
shire_county = Worcestershire
region= West Midlands
constituency_westminster= Wyre Forest
postcode_area= DY
postcode_district= DY13
dial_code= 01299
os_grid_reference= SO812715
london_distance= 135.4m

Stourport-on-Severn, often shortened to Stourport, is a town in north Worcestershire, England, a few miles to the south of Kidderminster. Stourport lies on the River Severn, and at the time of the 2001 census had a population of 19,713.

In 2006 Stourport-on-Severn was granted Fairtrade Town status.

History and Early Growth

Prior to the creation of the new port town of Stourport-on-Severn, the hamlet now engulfed by the development of the basins was called Little Mitton.

The name Stourport-on-Severn is derived from the port by the River Stour, on the River Severn, the confluence of the Stour and the Severn is next to the basins area behind what was the Bond Worth carpet factory.

Prior to the building and completion of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, in 1772, it consisted of two small communities, Upper and Lower Mitton at the junction of the River Severn and the River Stour. The town of Stourport grew from the 1770s around the canal basins and the locks between the canal and the river and for 150 years was the principal location for the trans-shipment of goods from the canal boats into the river going craft called Severn Trows. The central district of the town supported boat and barge building, foundries and carpet manufacturers.

Within 40 years of 1770 trade locally was hit adversely by the opening of the new Worcester & Birmingham Canal, which had taken 24 years of planning and construction. By this time the new railways were further reducing the canal trade and Stourport suffered further economic decline as a result in the early 1800s. As trade declined wages were reduced and manpower cut back and a downward spiral began. The new town that expanded so rapidly after 1770 was already virtually defunct.


The canal locally was used by a declining number of companies and by the 1940s only two companies used it in any quantity, Royal Worcester Porcelain for coal and Cadbury of Bournville for chocolate crumb.

St Michael and All Angels church was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1875 shortly before his death. Building work started in 1881 under his son, John Oldrid Scott, but was never finished and has been partly demolished to be replaced by a new church. The George Gilbert Scott church replaced an earlier brick church of 1782 by James Rose ["The Buildings of England: Worcestershire", Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 Penguin. p271] .


Stourport is part of the Wyre Forest District, but has its own Town Council.

The town is in the Wyre Forest parliamentary constituency. The current MP is Dr Richard Taylor representing the Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern party.

Redefinition and Redevelopment

During the late 19th century, Stourport became a popular summer destination for the industrial workers of the West Midlands conurbation, who came for its riverside pleasure parks, boat trips, and caravan parks. Since the end of the Second World War, and the nationalisation of the canal system Stourport has been in steady decline. However the growth in leisure boating and canal barge ownership and holidays has seen the revitalisation of the central canal basins. More is hoped for and planned as the architecture of the old streets, storehouses and buildings is impressive and valuable. Bridge Street, High Street, York Street and New Street all consist of lovely architecture, but are currently suffering from a lack of investment. The redevelopment of older buildings and the regeneration of these streets and communities is vital.

The residents of Stourport have recently been upset to hear of the impending closure of the popular indoor market to make way for a major fashion retailer.

Extensive housebuilding away from the town centre has taken place since the 1920s, around the main roads which link the town with Kidderminster, Worcester and Bewdley. Several primary schools have also been built, as well as the town's secondary school - The Stourport High School & VIth Form Centre.

A new Tesco store has also been granted planning permission, it will be built on the previous Carpets of Worth site and will feature a food store and petrol station. It is unknown when construction work will begin. This has been a contriversial issue in the area, with many surrounding housing estates and residents have been campaigning against the proposed store. It is also thought that new housing will be built on the southern part of the site in the future.

Famous People

*Alfred Baldwin, the father of Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister was born on 4 June 1841 in Lombard Street. He later became MP for Bewdley, he was owner of the foundry at the end Lombard Street which is now the site of the County Buildings containing the Library, Health Centre, Police Station and Coroners Court. He also became Chairman of the Great Western Railway.
*George Nicholson, settled in Stourport in 1808, until his death in 1825. He was a nationally known printer of the time. His printing press was at 15 Bridge Street, on the corner of Raven Street, and his premises are a listed building.
*Philip Elsmore, Thames Television's most recognizable continuity announcer, was born in Stourport.
*Clifford T. Ward, singer-songwriter, was born 1944 in Stourport.
*Ashley Hames, presenter and director.

Twin Town

The town is twinned with the commune of Villeneuve-le-Roi, in Paris France. On Mitton Street is the well tended twin town garden.


The local football club is Stourport Swifts F.C..

The local hockey club is [ Stourport Hockey Club]

Stourport Hockey Club have been playing National League Hockey since the inception of the National League, and run 7 men's teams, 4 ladies teams, and have a huge Junior membership involved in boys and girls hockey at U11, U13, U15, U18 and Badgers Leagues. Offering great hockey and an active social calendar for members of any age or ability.

The local rowing club is [ Stourport Boat Club]

Stourport Boat Club was founded in 1876 when Boating was the main pastime which is why we are still known as a Boat Club and not a Rowing Club. We now cater for a wide range of ages from 11 to any age - well our eldest competitive rower is 76 on Christmas day 2006 and have a very strong Junior section (Under 18) a very competitive Senior section (18+) and a healthy Veteran section (30+). The 2 day Regatta held every year in August attracts over 600 crews from all over the country to compete. The event attracts many spectators and supporters and 3000 visitors are catered for over the weekend.

Local Events

Early May sees the [ Arley to Stourport Raft Race] run by the Lions Club in aid of local charities. Rafts fall into various classes, some competing just for fun, and others such as the Super Rafts intent of the fastest possible time. It runs along 8 miles of the River Severn through some beautiful countryside and passing through Bewdley at about half way. First weekend of September is Stourport Carnival which as well as a land parade has a river parade during the day and after dark another river parade with the boats decked out in lights.

ee also

*Hartlebury Common
*Hartlebury Castle
*Stourport Ring


External links

* [ River Stour]
* [ The Shuttle] Local weekly newspaper serving Stourport
* [ The River Severn]
* [ photos of Stourport-on-Severn and surrounding area on geograph]

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