SP6989 : Staircase locks at Foxton in Leicestershire

taken 6 years ago, near to Foxton, Leicestershire, Great Britain

Staircase locks at Foxton in Leicestershire
Staircase locks at Foxton in Leicestershire
Grand Union Canal (Leicester Section).
This image shows the flight viewed from the footbridge above Lock 9 (the second lock down).
The ten locks (two staircases) are numbered 8 to 17 from the top. The flight alters the water level by 75 feet (almost 23 metres).
Staircase locks at Foxton, Leicestershire
At the northern end of the summit level of the Grand Union Canal (Leicester Section), Foxton Locks is a flight of canal locks consisting of two "staircases" each of five lock chambers, separated by a short connecting pound. The ten locks are numbered 8 to 17 from the top. The flight alters the water level by 75 feet (almost 23 metres).
Water management is by way of large sideponds, so the correct sequence of paddles must be used when negotiating the flight. The locks are usually supervised by an experienced lock keeper, often assisted by recently recruited "Canal and Rivers Trust" volunteers. The locks have strictly applied passageway times, and are secured outside these hours. See LinkExternal link

Staircase locks are used where a canal needs to climb a steep hill, so two or more locks open directly into the next. The bottom gates of one lock form the top gates of the next. This is the largest flight of such staircase locks on the English canal system. Construction started in 1810, and they were completed by 1812. Restoration took place in 1909, shortly before the unsuccessful nearby Foxton inclined plane was taken out of regular service.
Grand Union Canal (Leicester Section)/Soar Navigation
The Leicester section branches off the main line at Braunston and it is 66 miles long with 59 locks (including two five chamber staircase locks at Foxton) and two tunnels. Near Leicester it continues into the River Soar, and briefly along the River Wreake. The navigation then proceeds along the river, with some canalised diversions, to Loughborough and the River Trent south of Long Eaton.
The Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal was formed from an amalgamation of several formerly separate canals. Until the 1920s these had been independently owned and operated. The original part of the system was the Grand Junction Canal between Braunston and Brentford, constructed to reduce the route from the Midlands to London by sixty miles. This had locks fourteen feet wide, many branches to major towns and broad beam boats carrying up to seventy tons. Earlier linking canals were built with seven foot wide locks.

The Regent's Canal acquired the Grand Junction and other canals in 1929 and created the new Grand Union Canal Carrying Company (GUCCC). In 1932, with government aid, extensive modernisation was carried out, including the widening of 52 locks between Braunston and Birmingham (Camp Hill), and the demolition and replacement of many 18th and early 19th century bridges; then the money ran out - and the World War II started, so the task was never completed.

Waterways absorbed into the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company include:

London area:

Regent's Canal original company
Hertford Union Canal bought by the Regent's Canal in 1857

Main Line*:

Warwick and Napton Canal bought by the Regent's Canal in 1927
Warwick and Birmingham Canal bought by the Regent's Canal in 1927
Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal bought by the Regent's Canal in 1927
Grand Junction Canal bought by the Regent's Canal in 1927

Leicester Line:

Old Grand Union Canal bought by the Grand Junction in 1894
Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal bought by the Grand Junction in 1894
Leicester Navigation bought by the Grand Union in 1932
Loughborough Navigation bought by the Grand Union in 1932
Erewash Canal bought by the Grand Union in 1932

*The current main line starts in London and ends in Birmingham (Digbeth), stretching for 137 miles (220 km) with 166 locks.

For more details, a good start is: LinkExternal link
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SP6989, 333 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 23 August, 2013   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 1 September, 2018
Geographical Context
Canals 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 6915 8969 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:30.0442N 0:58.9659W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 6914 8964
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Staircase Locks  Flight of Locks 

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