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News article created on 19 June 2013

A real team effort

Volunteers from the Chester Canal Heritage Trust have worked with the Canal & River Trust to refurbish a circular domed lengthsman's hut on the Shropshire Union Canal.

In April, volunteers from the Chester Canal Heritage Trust and staff from the North Wales & Borders waterway set to work on repairs to an unusual grade II listed circular lengthsman’s hut on the Shropshire Union Canal.

The circular domed lobby at Tilstone Lock is an early example of a hut designed to provide shelter for a canal lengthsman. Its design is unique to this stretch of the former Chester Canal and dates from the 1770s. The building would have acted as the lengthsman’s bolt hole where he kept his tools and sheltered from the rain. The hearth provided warmth and somewhere to make a cup of tea.

The building was covered with ivy. Plants growing on the roof had started to loosen the parapet stones above the door. In the past the building had been pointed with hard cement mortar that was starting to damage the bricks. The curved door was also in need of repair.

Heritage skills training in the use of lime mortars was provided for the volunteers who worked alongside our NVQ heritage bricklayer and NVQ Heritage carpenters to help repair the building. Everyone worked really well together with great enthusiasm and the building is now looking loved again. A real team effort!

By Kate Lynch,
Heritage Adviser for North Wales and part of Manchester & Pennine

About this blog

Heritage team

The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.

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