Saul History

The village church, St. James the Great was mentioned in 1140 in a Charter in the cartulary of the Abbey of St. Peter, Gloucester (Gloucester Cathedral).

Little remains of the old village but in the 19th century prosperity came to the area with the owning of boats which could take cargoes from the River Severn, the Stroudwater Canal (opened in 1779) to Stroud and beyond.

The Gloucester to Sharpness canal was opened in 1827, ships arriving from all over the world and at The Junction where the Stroudwater canal crosses the Gloucester to Sharpness canal is a boatyard (a reminder of when earlier boats were built in the area). Close by, Cadbury, the chocolate maker, had a factory where local people were employed and the canal was used by boats delivering milk, cocoa beans and sugar to make raw chocolate crumb which was then delivered to the parent factory at Bourneville, again by boat.

Barge and trow owners of the 19th century built houses in Saul, the date of the buildings is on the exterior, also a school where mariners children were educated and a chapel. These buildings, sadly, have since been demolished.

Many watermen and their families are buried in Saul churchyard.