Lock 13 On The Peak Forest Canal – Marple, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 23.680 W 002° 03.614
30U E 562491 N 5916587
Quick Description: This is one of 16 locks that are in the middle of the Peak Forest Canal that was built between 1794 and 1805 to transport limestone.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/14/2014 10:18:31 AM
Waymark Code: WMKQ1F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Peak Forest Canal
It is a narrow canal and is fourteen miles long and connects Buxworth with Dukinfiled where it joins the Ashton Canal. The sixteen locks near the town of Marple raise the canal a height of 210 feet in a distance of 1 mile. During construction funds ran low and there was not enough money available to fund the locks. A temporary tram road was built in place of the locks which allowed the canal to open but meant that goods had to be transhipped between the canal and the tram road.

In 1831 The Macclesfield Canal was opened and has a junction with the Peak Forest Canal near to its highest lock. This completed, the Cheshire Ring, a set of canals that can be navigated as a complete circle, although junctions with other canals give access to a much large network of interconnected canals.

The locks were finally completed in 1805, and at the time were the second deepest locks in the UK. These days they are the 11th deepest locks in the UK.

The advent of the railways and later modern roads led to the decline of the canal and it fell into disuse between 1920 and 1960. An upsurge in leisure boat use led to the canal being restored and reopened in 1974. Further restoration led to the historical basin at Buxworth reopening in 2003.

Lock 13
This is the thirteenth lowest lock of the 16 on the canal and like all the locks on the canal it is designed to carry boats with a maximum length of 72 feet and a width of 7 feet. The bottom gates of each lock are a double set, whilst there is a single gate at the top end.

This particular lock has a depth of 13 feet 1 inches.

A road bridge crosses the canal next to the bottom gates. The bridge has two large arches and 1 small arch. One of the large arches used to cross an arm of the canal that used to lead to nearby lime kilns, but this has since been filled in. The other large arch crosses this main channel of the canal, and the small arch allows access for the tow path to pass under the road. This was originally used by the horses that pulled the canal boats.

There are stone steps built into the side of the lock that descend to the towpath as it passes under the bridge.

The lock is a National Heritage Grade II Listed Building. The listing tells us that it was built between 1803 and 1805. Benjamin Outram and Thomas Brown were the engineers, financed by S. Oldknow and R. Arkwright and built by James and Fox.

This is one of the locks that are in the town of Marple itself rather than in nearby fields. As such it has houses close to the side of 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.
Waterway Name: The Peak Forest Canal

Connected Points:
Links Dukinfield at the junction with the Ashton Canal and Buxworth Basin. There is also a junction with the Macclesfield Canal at Marple Bridge.

Type: Lock

Date Opened: 12/1/1805

Elevation Difference (meters): 4.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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