About the River Stour in Suffolk
There is a right of navigation on the Suffolk River Stour from Cattawade near the Orwell Estuary to Brundon Mill, just upstream of Sudbury. Except for the first three quarters of a mile below Sudbury, the river forms the county boundary between Suffolk and Essex, and was immortalised in the paintings of John Constable. Fifteen locks were built by the River Stour Navigation Company, but the waterway had largely fallen out of commercial use by the early twentieth century. Restoration of the Navigation was one of IWA’s earliest campaigns, leading to the formation of the River Stour Trust in 1968.
The Trust runs a high profile campaign for restoration today. Four locks have been restored and the whole Navigation can be used by canoes and other light craft. The Trust has also restored The Granary at the upstream end of the Navigation, and has built a visitor and education centre at Great Cornard Lock. Both the lock and education centre at Great Cornard were built with Lottery funds, the grant for the lock being one of the earliest Millennium Lottery Fund grants. The Granary was renovated and the basin excavated using schemes to provide work for unemployed people and volunteers in the 1980s, and has been used since then for revenue generating events for the Trust.
[The Photo shows canoes in the restored Roger Brown Lock at Stratford St Mary]