Original Lock 3E On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Huddersfield, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 38.452 W 001° 47.140
30U E 580281 N 5944249
Quick Description: This lock used to be the 3rd from the centre of Huddersfield on the east side of the Standedge Tunnel at the summit.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/3/2013 2:02:23 PM
Waymark Code: WMG29P
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 3

Long Description:

Original Lock 3E
This is the remains of the original lock 3E and has been partly covered over by a new road leading to Kirklees College built as part of the Huddersfield Waterfront Quarter development. It is enclosed by the new road and the original Chapel Hill road.

In 1981 work started to renovate this canal (see full story below) and this stretch was the last part of the canal to be completed in 2001. It is near to the start of the canal and in an industrial area of Huddersfield. After the canal closed in 1944 this part of the canal was covered over and also built on. When it was decided to re-open the canal it was necessary to build a tunnel under the yard of Sellers Engineering. In order for the canal to be at the correct level the original lock 3E was moved westwards so that the canal could be lowered at an earlier position than before. This website shows the construction of the tunnel and the temporary lock. However as industry declined in the area plans were made to redevelop the area and include the canal in the plans. The Sellers Engineering site has now been demolished and the tunnel roof removed. The tunnel walls now form a narrow channel for the boats and the gates from the temporary lock removed.

A second new lock 3E has now been erected in front of a new Kirklees College building built as part of the area’s redevelopment. This website gives details of this new stretch of canal and shows the site of the temporary lock 3E and the canal between there and here including the new lock 3E.

Because of the new road in front of the new lock 3E there is very little room between that lock and the road bridge. This old lock chamber has been retained on the other side of the road with steps leading down from the road to allow people on the boat to get on and off. Because the road bridge is so close to the new lock 3E, people have to get off the boat here and empty the lock and open the gates before the boat can move on from here.

If you are walking along the canal east towards the town centre you have to leave the canal here. The canal passes through a tunnel underneath Chapel Hill road and enters a short stretch with no tow path. Footpath signs direct you along Colne Road to a point where you can rejoin the canal. This website shows this pedestrian route between lock 1E and lock 3E.

A modern Lock 2E built in 2001 is actually inside the stretch of canal without a tow path and is not accessible on foot. However when you rejoin the canal you will pass by the original site of lock 2E. Not long after you will then reach lock 1E and the junction with the Huddersfield Broad Canal.

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal
This canal is one of three that crosses the Pennine Hills and built to provide transport between Huddersfield in Yorkshire and Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.

As the name suggest it is a narrow canal that although was cheaper to build had less carrying capacity compared to the other two broad canals.

Work started on it in 1794 and partly due to the need to construct the longest canal tunnel in the United Kingdom it was completed 17 years later in 1811.

The canal is only 20 miles long and due to the nature of the terrain has 74 locks even though the summit tunnel reduced the required number of locks. The canal climbs 436 feet from Huddersfield and descends 334 feet to Ashton-Under-Lyne.

In theory having a summit tunnel to reduce the number of locks means that the journey times should be relatively short. However the tunnel does not have a tow path and when it was first opened it was necessary to lead the horses over the moor to the other end of the tunnel. Meanwhile it was necessary to leg the boat through the tunnel. This involved specialist workers who lay on their backs and used their legs with their feet against the tunnel wall to leg the boat through.

Competition from the railways led to the closure of the canal in 1944.

During the 1970s leisure boating in the U.K. had become popular and there were various campaigns to re-open canals that had lain derelict for a number of years.

Work on restoring this canal started in 1981 and the whole canal was finally reopened by 2001. These days the canal is only open to leisure boaters and with the re-opening of other connecting canals it is possible to travel far and wide.

However boats are restricted to maximum width of 6 feet 10 inches and a draught of 3 feet 3 inches which does restrict some boats that are used on the broad canals.
Waterway Name: The Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Connected Points:
Links the Huddersfield Broad Canal at Huddersfield in Yorkshire to the Ashton Canal at Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1811

Elevation Difference (meters): .00

Site Status: Remnants

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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hulletteers visited Original Lock 3E On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Huddersfield, UK 2/1/2013 hulletteers visited it