Former Sankey Canal Lock - Blackbrook, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 27.575 W 002° 42.043
30U E 519871 N 5923439
Quick Description: This former canal lock used to raise or lower canal boats 4 metres. After the canal closed in 1963 the workings were removed and a series of cascades made.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/16/2017 6:34:08 AM
Waymark Code: WMVGDJ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member J.A.R.S.
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Sankey Canal was originally known as the Sankey Brook Navigation and later as the St Helens Canal. It lays claim to being the first modern canal in England, or the first canal of the industrial age.

At this time, there was a growing demand for coal by salt manufacturers on the Weaver and new industries in Liverpool, but the only means of transporting the abundant coal from around Warrington, Parr and Haydock was by horse or cart over poor roads.

The idea of making the Sankey Brook navigable was put forward and gained support. In 1755 an Act of Parliament was passed to make the brook navigable as far as Broad Oak. So, officially, this was to be a traditional river navigation, but it is believed that the engineers knew that the brook was too shallow and twisting to be of practical use, so they constructed a completely separate canal alongside the brook. So, even though it was known as The Sankey Brook Navigation, it was, in practice, a discrete canal - the first to be built in England in modern times.

The Old Double Lock was built to take the canal up to a level where further of collieries around Parr and Haydock and beyond could be served, with tram roads bringing coal from as far as Billinge.

The lock marks the northern end of the original part of the canal and is a Historic England Grade II Listed Building
"Two-rise staircase lock at head of branch to east of main canal. 1758. Stone. Barrel-shaped plan. Gates removed and lock preserved as cascade. Part of north side reduced in height. This is the oldest British example of a staircase lock." link

Because the gates have been removed and the cascade built water flows freely as a waterfall. This must be one of the few canal locks where you could try white water rafting !

There are a number of public footpaths in the area and the parking co-ordinates are at the Sankey Valley Visitor Centre behind the Ship Inn on Blackbrook Road.

The towpath of the former Sankey Canal that leads to the lock / waterfall is on the other side of the road from the Ship Inn.
Location of the waterfall:
Former Sankey Canal Towpath
Near Blackbrook Road
St. Helens, Merseyside United Kingdom


Coordinates of parking: N 53° 27.840 W 002° 42.079

Type / features of structure: Other, please specify in description

Estimated height in feet: 13

Estimated height in meters: 4.00

Estimated width in feet: 14

Estimated width in meters: 4

River/stream/lake/reservoir: Former Sankey Canal

Fees: Not Listed

Flow dates: Not listed

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