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Waterway stop plank storage structures
To record occurrences of waterway structures whose purpose is to store stop planks. Structures that are in current usage and those that are no longer used are to be recorded in this category.
Expanded Description:

Stop planks are used to create temporary dams in waterways to enable maintenance and repair works to be undertaken. The planks are inserted across the waterway thus making a dam; the water between two such dams can be drained away thus providing access to the bed of the waterway for maintenance or inspection purposes.

On canals the temporary dams are called stanks hence the term stanking plank is sometimes used rather than stop plank.

Stop planks are generally made of wood but are sometimes made of a metal such as steel reinforced aluminium.

Whilst the stanks themselves are interesting, they are only temporary, so this group will record instances of the structures where the planks are stored.

These are any structure that has been designed to store stop planks. The structure may be made of any material usually one or more of stone, brick and wood.

One of the main reasons for having structures to store stop planks is to keep the planks themselves dry and therefore free from rot. If they were left on the ground then they would have a much shortened lifespan. Another reason is for security - some structures enable the planks to be locked away and thus safe from theft.

Here is an example of a stop plank store that has been built into a bridge. It has a metal door at the front that can be padlocked thus keeping the planks secure and therefore safe from theft:

This is an example of a simple wooden structure with a roof:

And here is an example of a corrugated iron structure:

Structures may be empty or have planks in/on them. In some instances, planks may be piled on the ground without a structure, e.g. by a bridge hole. These should also be recorded and have a Primary Material of Ground.

We are interested in recording historic unused structures as well as those in current usage. Here is an example of a cast iron structure that is no locnger used:

Finally, here are a couple of examples of stop planks in use:

This first one shows stop planks that have been put in a canal behind a lock gate. You can see them under the temporary bridge. This has enabled the lock to be drained and the lock gate taken out for repair.

This second one is taken from inside a lock that has been drained for repairs. The stop planks can be seen through the slighty opened lock gates.

Instructions for Posting a Waterway stop plank storage structures Waymark:


Please enter the Name in the following format, with initial letters capitalised:

Waterway Name - Identifying Location - Place, Country


Caldon Canal - Bridge 38 - Cheddleton, UK
Canal du Centre - Lock 42 - St Berain-sur-Dheune, France

Additional Information

In some areas the planks have to be secured to prevent vandalism or theft. If you can, please mkae a note of whether the planks are locked or chained up or not.

If there are stop planks in the store please record any inscriptions where possible. For example, these planks, which are in a wooden storage structure, have "LH" inscribed to show which is the left hand side of the plank:

Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Where possible please include a photograph of your visit to the structure showing the general location and also the structure itself.
Category Settings:
  • Waymarks can be added to this category
  • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
  • Category is not visible in the directory
  • Primary material
  • Usage