Rochdale Canal Lock 21 – Todmorden, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 42.423 W 002° 06.327
30U E 559047 N 5951300
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: 6/28/2012 10:59:07 AM
Waymark Code: WMEQQE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 1

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 named Shade Lock and stands just to the north east of a very impressive castellated railway bridge. It has an integrated wooden foot bridge that gives access to the other side of the canal to allow the lock gates to be operated.

Canal locks always have a way of letting excess water flow past the lock gates. Depending on the lay of the land and the design of the lock the overflow is not always very obvious. In this case there is a side channel where the water can clearly be seen by-passing the lock.

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

This particular lock has a warning sign saying it should be left empty at all times, but does not explain why.

The affect of this is that if a boat is going up the canal and fills the lock, they then have to empty the lock after use unless a boat is waiting to go down.

This not only means that it adds extra time to the operation of the lock, but also wastes a lock full of water.

This lock was made a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1984 before the canal was restored, reference number 1278914.
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:
Logs marked as “visits” should be made after physically visiting the waymark location. Include a picture taken during the visit. Notes may be logged by individuals who have visited the web site or looked at the online information and would like to provide comments or feedback on the waymark.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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hulletteers visited Rochdale Canal Lock 21 – Todmorden, UK 1/15/2013 hulletteers visited it