New Lock 3E On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Huddersfield, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 38.464 W 001° 47.190
30U E 580224 N 5944271
Quick Description: This lock is 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 12:25:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMG27R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 2

Long Description:

New Lock 3E
It is the newest lock on the canal and was completed in 2012 as part of a regeneration project known as the Huddersfield Waterfront Quarter.

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 then new 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.

This 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.

During the restoration of the canal in 2001 all the locks had ladders installed to provide access from the boat at the bottom of the lock to the top of the lock. This new lock also has one built into it. Being a modern lock modern materials have been used in its construction. The lock itself is made from concrete, the tow path has been made from tarmac and the heel stones to provide grip when opening the gates are made from bricks. Heel stones are as their name suggests usually made from cobble stones and it is unusual to see them made from other material, even relatively new ones.

This lock also has an integrated wooden footbridge in front of the double bottom gates to give access to both sides of the lock whilst operating the gates. A small wooden footbridge has also been attached to the single lock gate itself. This is quite normal on broad canals where the lock gates are wider and more substantial but rare on a narrow canal lock. On the day of my visit in December 2012 this gate had been left slightly open.

Being a narrow canal the locks on this canal are also narrow, and this reduces the size of the lock gates compared to a broad canal.

Like all the existing locks on this canal the bottom gates are a double pair as is normal on U.K. broad canals, but the top gate, where the water enters is only a single gate.

The paddles for the bottom gates to let water out of the lock are built into the gates themselves. To let water into the lock at the top gate the paddles are built into the side of the 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: 1/1/2012

Elevation Difference (meters): 4.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

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