Canal & River Trust Seend Lock Virtual Tour.

When we heard the Canal & River Trust were carrying out major repairs to three of the five Seend locks to keep the magnificent Kennet & Avon Canal in good working order; we jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

The lock flight lifts the water level more than 11.5 metres (38ft) eastwards towards the awesome 29 locks of the Devizes Flight, which includes Caen Hill.

A lock stoppage usually takes four to five weeks and costs about £140,000 (as much as £200,000 when access is difficult across fields and bigger gates are needed).

It’s a complicated process and the tasks include:

  • Creating an access trackway to site and establishing a site compound with a crane, and installing top and bottom dams.
  • Carrying out a fish rescue (although not at Seend) and pumping out the lock.
  • Removing silt – 60 to 70 tons were taken out of each of locks 18 and 19.
  • Replacing gates, beams and cills (supplied from our own workshop in Bradley, Wolverhampton). Each of the larger bottom gates weighs almost three tonnes and each pair costs about £21,000; smaller top gates about £15,000.
  • Repairing brickwork and masonry, mostly using lime mortar.
  • Sourcing bricks and stone to match the original materials (Bath stone and Furness brick – an antique orange colour).
  • Repairing paddles, extending lock ladders (although not at Seend) and fitting new anchor blocks and plates (where required).

The Kennet & Avon Canal is formed by two lengths of navigable river (the River Avon from Bristol to Bath; the River Kennet from Newbury to Reading) linked by a canal. It originally had 106 locks, reduced to 104 after restoration. Although it provided a link to London via the River Thames, most traffic was local and only about 6% covered the full length.

We provided the Canal & River Trust a virtual tour of the lock and the results were amazing, see for yourself…

To find out more and to check out some more virtual tour examples, click here.

Contact us on 0208 166 9712 or email us below and lets have a chat.


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