SP6989 : Foxton's icebreakers

taken 25 days ago, near to Foxton, Leicestershire, Great Britain

Foxton's icebreakers
Foxton's icebreakers
These boats date from the late 1800s, they were constructed from heavy timber coated with metal sheets. Up to twelve horses would run along the towpath, pulling these icebreakers while fifteen men would rock the boat to make a big wave. This action lifted the ice and cracked it before the boat smashed through it.
The Thomas Holt was named after a local engineer who was based at Kilby Bridge.
Foxton Locks
Foxton Locks are two sets of staircase locks on the junction of the Market Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Canal, just to the west of the village of Foxton.

Built in 1810, both sets of 5 locks raises boats up 75ft to join back to the main route of the Grand Union. It would take an experienced boatman about 45 minutes to travel through all ten locks.

In 1900 an inclined boat plane boat lift (known as the 'Thomas Lift') was built, to lift up boats the whole height of the hill in just 12 minutes, and it could carry two narrowboats at a time, and reduced the wastage of water. It was closed only 10 years later under financial pressures. The remains can still be seen.

The site is now a popular visitor attraction LinkExternal link
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SP6989, 333 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 19 November, 2019   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 26 November, 2019
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Historic sites and artefacts  Canals 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 692 896 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:30.0384N 0:58.9130W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 692 896
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Canal Boats 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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