Lock 31 On Leeds Liverpool Canal – Gargrave, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 59.197 W 002° 06.127
30U E 558873 N 5982406
Quick Description: This lock called Eshton Road Lock is on The Leeds Liverpool Canal which at 127 miles long is the longest canal in Northern England.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/30/2014 11:36:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMMC9D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 0

Long Description:
The locks on this canal were designed to carry the ‘short boats’ that had twice the capacity of the narrow boats used on other canals.

The locks therefore had to be wide enough to allow the 62 feet long, 14 feet wide boats through them. The lock gates on this canal consist of a double pair of gates at each end of the lock.

Most of the locks were also grouped together to give long runs between the locks. This lock is one of 6 locks that together are called the Gargrave Flight and cover a distance of 1.75 miles.

The boats were mainly used to carry bulk cargoes such as coal, stone and limestone. Commercial traffic ceased in 1964, but the locks are still used to carry leisure boats which have become very popular. Ironically the leisure craft are normally narrow boats, because there are links to other canals, and wider boats would not be able to pass through the locks on the other canals.

The construction of the canal was started in 1770 and the first section opened in 1774. This lock however was constructed in 1790 by engineer Robert Whitworth. The lock has bridge 171 built into the tail of the lock to carry Eshton Road over the lock. Bridges are often built into locks because the canal is at its narrowest there, making the bridge easier and cheaper to build. There is a small wooden footbridge attached to the side of the main bridge. This gives boatmen access to both sides of the lock when operating the gates.

The lock and the bridge are a Grade II English Heritage listed building.

On many locks there are warning signs about making sure the boat does not get on the cill.

It's not always obvious what this means, but basically the wooden lock gate does not go to the bottom of the lock but sits on a stone base. When the lock is full and a boat is going down, the cill is not visible. This means that when the water is released from the lock it is possible for the boat to get caught on the cill.

This lock was at its lowest when I took the pictures and the cill is clearly visible. When the cill is visible it's much easier to understand the hidden danger.

Waterway Name: The Leeds Liverpool Canal

Connected Points:
Links the inland city of Leeds with the city of Liverpool on the west coast 127 miles away.

Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1790

Elevation Difference (meters): 3.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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