Saturday, February 10, 2018

Open day at a drained Foxton Locks

At Foxton near Market Harborough the Leicester line of the Grand Union Canal descends a hillside by means of two flights of five staircase locks.

The locks are currently drained for maintenance and this weekend you can visit them and walk in areas that are usually under deep water. You can, for instance, see the paddles that are raised to let water into the locks from the side pounds used at Foxton.

I went today and took these photographs in the rain. I also learnt that rather being cut into the hillside, the locks were largely built on the surface and then had earth heaped up against them.

It is notable that the brick floor of the chambers probably dates from 1814 when they were opened and that the piece of metalwork at the bottom of one of them is the work of an early 19th-century blacksmith.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

A similar exercise was conducted at one of the Leicester Aylestone locks last year. A cofferdam was constructed for the gates to be removed. Workers assembled a pile of salvage -- motorcycle parts, push bikes, broken open shop tills and strong boxes, no prams that I spotted -- perhaps reflecting contemporary property theft.

When the gates were restored, the top half of them looked the same. Only wood and metalwork below the water line was renewed.