Hampstead Road Lock

This weekend there’s been an open day at Hampstead Road lock (its ‘Camden lock’ to most people.) These pics shows our visit inside the lock chamber.

General view of Hampstead Road locks

A bright sun & dark lock chamber made it difficult to balance picture contrast!

Looking down the temporary steps into the lock chamber.

The locks were built about 1819-20. The vertical walls were rebuilt circa 1915.

The gate must fit the bottom of the lock perfectly.

This gate paddle is very heavy!

New bottom gates installed for the north side lock. These have to fit perfectly, or the lock will leak badly and not fill properly. The gate paddles, traditionally made from wood (which the Canal & River Trust personnel is lifting) are now made of long lasting modern plastics – but still extremely heavy!
View to east. The water level mark shows 6ft of depth when lock is empty.

The curved floor (or invert) of the lock chamber is original – eg built c1819. As the supervisor explained, in the old days (when commercial boats were used) lock gates were replaced overnight, with about 50-60 workmen at hand. Nowadays it takes about 3 weeks with a very small team of workmen.

BBC report on Hampstead Road works and opening weekend

Metro picture gallery showing Hampsead Road lock works

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