Rochdale Canal Lock 19 – Todmorden, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 42.755 W 002° 05.934
30U E 559472 N 5951921
Quick Description: The Rochdale canal is 32 miles long and connects Manchester on the west side of the Pennine Hills and Sowerby Bridge on the east side.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/26/2012 2:01:25 PM
Waymark Code: WMEQC1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 3

Long Description:

The Canal History
The Rochdale Canal was completed in 1804 and is one of three canals that cross the Pennine hills. This is the only one that doesn’t use tunnels. In addition it was a broad canal with bridges and locks that allowed boats of 14 feet width to pass through.

The one downside of not using tunnels is that it originally had 92 locks. These days two of them have been combined into one deep lock.

Competition from railways and roads subsequently led to a decline in goods being carried and by 1937 the only section left in operation was at the Manchester end of the canal.

In 1965 there was talk of abandoning the canal but by this time leisure boating had become very popular in the UK and there was a campaign to keep it open. Work was started and the canal slowly re-opened in a number of different stages. The whole length finally reopened in September 2007.

All the locks on the canal have a standard length of 72 feet (22 metres).

Details of this lock
This lock is known as Todmorden Lock, and is in the middle of the town of Todmorden immediately next to a bridge that carries the main road through the town.

The road was widened in the 1920s and the gates were changed from the traditional style to guillotine style. These relatively rare lock gates raise the gates vertically and take up less space than usual.

In 1952 when the canal had largely fallen into disuse many bottom lock gates were removed including from this lock. This caused a problem when work started to renovate the canal.

Many locks on this canal had the ability to have a double set of lock gates. This was because it connects with the Hebble and Calder canal which had locks of the shorter length of 57.5 feet rather than the Rochdale canal length of 72 feet.

When you look at the gates at the other end it looks like it would have been possible to extend the lock backwards but the Calder River flows underneath in a culvert so this could not be done. So the recesses for the short lock gates were used and the lock shortened to 57.5 feet. At the time this was not a problem because there were not many locks yet reopened.

However as more and more locks were reopened this would have prevented 72 feet long boas using the whole canal. In 1997 new motorised guillotine locks were installed allowing 72 feet long boats to now navigate the full length of the canal. Visit Link

Another feature of this lock is a narrow tunnel underneath the road for access on foot without having to cross the busy main road.

This lock was made a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1984 before the canal was restored and the guillotine lock reinstalled reference number 1230348.
Waterway Name: The Rochdale Canal

Connected Points:
The city of Manchester on the west side of the Pennine hills and the town of Sowerby Bridge on the east side.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1804

Elevation Difference (meters): 3.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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hulletteers visited Rochdale Canal Lock 19 – Todmorden, UK 1/15/2013 hulletteers visited it