Practically all the water used in Stroud up until the 1760s was obtained from wells and pumps sited around the town.
In 1769, Benjamin Grazebrook laid leaden pipes from the Gainey's well to a reservoir near the Cross and then supplied houses in the lower part of the town for annual payment. Once started, other Concerns undertook supplying water to Stroud inhabitants throughout the next century. By 1864, these companies were united under the Local Board of Health, who then built large new reservoirs at the junction of the old and new Bisley roads.
The Stroud Water Company, established in 1882, then took over Stroud's water supplies and built the reservoir on Minchinhampton Common. This responsibility then transferred to the Urban District Council in 1890, and then to the Severn Trent Water Board in 1938. Although Severn Trent was privatised in the 1980s, it remains Stroud's water supplier.