Pool Quay

button-theme-canalLink to French translationPool Quay

This hamlet is named after the wharf which once marked the uppermost point on the river Severn which boats could reach. Goods would be loaded and unloaded here for Welshpool, which was known as Pool until the expansion of railways resulted in the alternative name “Welshpool” being standardised, distinguishing the town from Poole in Dorset. That alternative name was used long before then, however. A document from 1477 records the settlement as “Welsh Pole”.

At one time the river may have been navigable as far as Abermule. Pool Quay was the limit once a weir had been built across the Severn near Strata Marcella Abbey to provide a water supply for the monks’ mill. In summer, when the river water dwindled, boats struggled even to reach Pool Quay, and the advent of the Montgomeryshire Canal was a relief to Welshpool traders. The Eastern Branch, passing through Pool Quay, was completed in 1797. The Western Branch followed in 1821, giving Welshpool reliable freight transport.

When a local source of rock suitable for making millstones was discovered in 1801, potential buyers were informed that blocks could be collected from Pool Quay, where the Severn was navigable. At the time, war with France had disrupted British imports of French millstones.

A sale of thousands of oak trees, felled at various sites, was held in “the town of Pool” in 1810. The timber was large and suitable for shipbuilding. Advertisements for the sale advised prospective buyers that the timber in several of the lots was close to the canal and to "Pool Quay, where the river Severn becomes navigable”.

The lock keeper’s cottage at Pool Quay dates from c.1820. It was enlarged in the early 19th century. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales describes it as generous, compared with the accommodation provided on other Welsh canals.

Postcode: SY21 9JS    View Location Map

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