Severn Shed

Until well after WWII ships’ cargoes unloaded in Bristol Docks were held in transit sheds prior to being moved onwards to their destination. Such sheds were a vital necessity. Bristol in the 1850s was very short of them and so was losing trade to other ports. Construction of new sheds was inhibited by a 99 year lease of wharfage dues that was held by the Merchant Venturers Society at nominal rent and due to expire in 1863. So neither the Merchant Venturers nor the Council were willing to invest short term.

The lease was surrendered in 1861 and development could begin. One of the smaller sheds then constructed where the Grove meets Welsh Back was the Hide Shed, presumably to hold raw hides later to be converted to leather. It was built as an open shed but enclosed later with the existing cladding. Recently it has been converted to a restaurant, the Severn Shed. It is the oldest surviving shed on the harbour side. However claims for it to be by Brunel are totally spurious. Brunel died in 1859.

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