Grantham Canal lock gets new gates

Published: Friday, 21 August 2020

VOLUNTEERS are now ready to fit a lock on the Grantham Canal with new gates—the first in 90 years.

The volunteers of the Grantham Canal Society have rebuilt the derelict Lock 14 and it is now ready for its new gatesits first for almost 90 years.

On hold for months

The restoration had been on hold for several months due to the coronavirus lockdown but, with restrictions easing, the volunteers team have wasted little time in getting the lock ready for it’s new gates. The Canal & River Trust, Grantham Canal Society and the Waterway Recovery Group have been working for the past two years to restore the formerly derelict lock near Stenwith.

The new oak gates have been hand built at the Trust’s lock gate workshop at Stanley Ferry near Wakefield. Each of the bottom gates weighs 2.3 tonnes with the top gates weighing 1.1 tonnes each.

Built two centuries ago

The lock, which was designed and built by renowned canal engineer William Jessop over two centuries ago, is being restored after falling into dereliction.

It’s all part of a project, which has been awarded a £830,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to bring locks 14 and 15 back into use.  The project has already seen the full restoration of Lock 15 which last year welcomed its first boat since falling into dereliction in the 1920s.


Karen Rice, Project Manager for the Canal & River Trust, explained;

“This is such a milestone in the long history of the canal and after the past few months it’s such a relief to finally get here.

 “The volunteers have been amazing all the way through this project and it’s been so frustrating for everyone to put everything on hold. We’ve all been itching to get going and as soon as we got the green light to get back on site everyone’s been working flat out to make up for lost time and get the lock ready for it’s new gates."

Unable to compete

The canal was opened in 1797 as a cheap way of transporting coal from Nottingham to Grantham. It proved prosperous until the opening of the Grantham to Nottingham railway in 1850. Unable to compete with the railway the canal eventually closed to boats in 1929.

By the 1960s most of the locks on the canal were derelict and their lock gates replaced with concrete weirs to control the water levels.