Saul Junction Lock is a Grade II listed disused lock at a unique canal cross-roads where the Stroudwater Navigation of 1779 is bisected by the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal of 1827. The lock has been on the Building at Risk register since 2002 but in 2015 it received an Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £75,000 towards the cost of the conversation works.
This work was part of a £220,000 scheme that includes landscaping, interpretation and installation of a dipping platform. Dendrochronology shows that the gates date from the early 20th century and included douglas fir, oak, pitch pine and elm in their construction.
We have taken this important listed structure which was in poor condition and restored it through the financial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, along with implementing community activities and education events on site, with the positive result that this has now been removed from the local Building at Risk Register.
The lock is now fully functional with the original gate gearing repaired and re-installed, and the masonry and stone copings having been repaired. The area surrounding the lock has been remodelled and now provides an outdoor classroom with benches and a pond dipping platform. New trees have been planted in the car park and mature specimens have had their crowns lifted to open up views to the lock.
The redundant channel at the back of the lock has been cleared and now provides for a circular walk with increased habitat for local wildlife. Thorough research has also led to work with the University of Wales to produce a Dendrochronology report of the previous timber gates (the evidence states that these were installed around 1916), and a full archaeological survey for the structure completed.
The ‘lasher board’ gearing for the gates seen in the photo is unique for a lock on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, its only found elsewhere on the Lancaster Canal Glasson Branch and Leeds & Liverpool Rufford Branch
People and communities have benefitted from volunteer activities including lime mortar training, new interpretation, educational events for schools, Open Days - see picture above of school children in the lock, and a full adoption of the lock by Gloucestershire College who now carry out general maintenance of the site as part of a Foundation Studies course.
Last date edited: 9 March 2017