Leeds & Liverpool Eshton Road Lock repaired at last.

Published: Wednesday, 01 June 2022

IT WAS way back on the 30th of September of last year that Canal & River Trust gave boaters three days to get though Eshton Road Lock on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

EshtonThen closed it for seven months to make good  a 'deterioration of masonry' at a cost of two million pounds!

Navigation closed

The towpath and navigation were closed to the public in early November following the sighting of a significant bulge in the wall.

But repairs to the Grade II Listed Eshton Road Lock near Gargrave were delayed following setbacks and damage caused by Storm Eunice.

Over the last eight months the trust tells it has been working with specialist stonemasonry contractors, Lyons, on a painstaking restoration project at the 200 years old structure to prevent the lock’s wall from collapsing.

EshtonMessFinally completed

But on Wednesday 25th May the repairs were finally completed with Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society’s heritage boat Kennet welcomed as the first boat through the newly repaired Eshton Road Lock following a £2 million restoration project by Canal & River Trust.

The only surviving Leeds & Liverpool Canal short boat accessible to the public  was assisted through the lock by volunteer lock keepers and staff from the trust.

Ruth Garratt, Heritage Advisor at Canal & River Trust, explains.

“We rarely get the chance to examine how Georgian engineers built their canals. By having the opportunity to monitor the repair works we’ve been able to take photos, make drawings and compile evidence and insights into how one of the country’s most important waterways was constructed in the late 18th century. I think it’s important for people to know how invested we are in looking after our canals which are a living, working heritage.”

Canoes, arts and crafts

The Kennet is travelling along the canal to join the In Motion: Keighley Transport Festival—which takes place at various sites across Keighley on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June and is supported by Canal & River Trust, who will be located next to the Kennet, offering free canoe taster sessions plus arts and crafts activities.