River Lock On The Leeds Liverpool Canal - Leeds, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 47.575 W 001° 32.903
30U E 595620 N 5961458
Quick Description: This is lock 1 on The Leeds Liverpool Canal which at 127 miles long is the longest canal in Northern England.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/27/2014 1:15:21 PM
Waymark Code: WMN4Z9
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. Most of the locks were also grouped together to give long runs between the locks although not all were staircase locks like this with no gap between each lock.

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.

The Lock
This lock at the very start of the canal in Leeds is next to a large warehouse specially built for goods to be loaded and unloaded from the canal boats.

The lock provides a connection to the River Aire which was made navigable as far as Leeds in 1704 with the construction of locks and lock cuts between Knottingley and Leeds.

This lock is an English Heritage Grade II* listed building link

The listing tells us that "Lock and retaining walls. 1770-1776. For the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company. Wooden gates with cast-iron fittings; coursed squared massive gritstone blocks to walls. 2 pairs of gates, the top pair fitted with probably original paddles ('jack' cloughs). The walling extends beyond the lower gates and under a footbridge with stone steps and replaced handrails to form the retaining walls on the River Aire, approximate length 15m. This was Lock No.1 on the canal and is one of only 5 sets of locks to retain original 'jack' cloughs at the Yorkshire end of the canal. HISTORICAL NOTE: at the opening of the 33-mile stretch of the canal from Leeds to Holmbridge, near Gargrave, in 1777 an opening ceremony was held here before a crowd of 20,000-30,000 people and a procession of boats passed through the lock. (Burt S & Grady K: The Merchants' Golden Age, Leeds 1700-1790: 1987-: 16)."
Waterway Name: The Leeds Liverpool Canal

Connected Points:
Connects the City of Leeds with the City of Liverpool. It also has a junction with the Aire and Calder Navigation at Leeds and the Bridgewater Canal at Leigh.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1777

Elevation Difference (meters): 3.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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