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Gloucester Docks are 35 miles from the sea but a quay has existed here for 2000 years. The title of Port was granted by Elizabeth I in 1580 and the buildings we see today date from the end of the 18th century. In Victorian times it was the UK’s largest inland port. Trade in flour, wood, coal and many other commodities continued until the middle of the 20th century. Even oil tankers could be berthed. Gloucester was well placed for trading being situated on the river Severn close to the industrial Midlands and its demand for goods. As trade and the size of ships grew, the need for continual access led to the building of the Sharpness Canal running parallel to the Severn. This not only cut off a dangerous bend on the river, but also meant ships were no longer dependent on the tides to take them up to Gloucester. As container ships increased in size, deep water ports meant a loss of trade to ports such as Gloucester. The docks area has now been redeveloped and is used for leisure boating and boat restoration. A maritime museum has been established in one of the former warehouses.