Stop Lock No.1 (now known as the Guillotine Lock) is the first lock on the Stratford- Upon-Avon Canal at Kings Norton, Birmingham. It is just 500 yards from the junction with the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
The Guillotine Lock at Kings Norton, Birmingham, is not the only guillotine lock on the canal system. It is, however, the most dramatic. The lock, with its elaborate ironwork, actually looks like a French Guillotine. Viewed from the bank it is dramatically impressive, viewed from below, I think I might instinctively duck.
The Guillotine Lock is non-operational. It was built as a stop lock – to prevent water from the Stratford upon Avon Canal flowing into the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The difference in level from one side of the lock to the other is a mere 4 inches, and as both of these waterways are now owned by the Canal & River Trust, the Guillotine Lock has been in the raised position since the 1950s
The Guillotine Lock is an important part of canal heritage, it’s a one-of-a-kind, unique even. It has played a part in local history as well as national canal history - and has even been designated as a scheduled ancient monument, which gives it the same statutory protection as Stonehenge.
Vital funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery and English Heritage enabled restoration work to be carried out in 2012/13.