Blake's Lock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Blakes's Lock
Blakes Lock, Reading - geograph.org.uk - 1200776.jpg
Waterway River Kennet
County Berkshire
Maintained by Environment Agency
Operation Manual
First built 1802
Length 37.39 m (122 ft 8 in) [1]
Width 5.75 m (18 ft 10 in)[1]
Fall 1.07 m (3 ft 6 in)[1]
Above sea level about 54 m (177 ft)[2]
Distance to
Teddington Lock
55 miles (89 km)
Distance to
Bristol Harbour
87 miles (140 km)
Blakes Lock
Kennet and Avon Canal
Kings Road bridge
Forbury Road bridge
Kings Road bridge
Gas Works Road bridge
weir
Blake's Lock
River Thames
Paddington - Reading Rly

Blake's Lock is a lock situated on the River Kennet in Reading, Berkshire, England. It is on the short reach of the River Kennet which is administered as if it were part of the River Thames and is hence owned and managed by the Environment Agency.

History[edit]

The first mile of the Kennet from its junction with the River Thames has been navigable since the 13th century. Blake's Lock was originally a flash lock known as Brokenburglok. In 1404 the Abbot of Reading Abbey, who had control of the River Kennet, made an agreement with the town's guild to allow craft to pass through the lock between sunrise and sunset on payment of a one penny toll. By 1794, not much had changed, with John Rennie, the engineer of the Kennet and Avon Canal describing it as "a very bad and inconvenient staunch lock".[3][4]

The lock was converted to a timber-constructed pound lock in 1802 to improve navigation from the Thames into the River Kennet enabling boats to travel all the way to the Bristol area. The lock retains its manual beams (not the originals, new beams were fitted in 2006), so far avoiding the progress towards hydraulic power.[4][5][6]

Riverside Museum at Blake's Lock[edit]

Next to the lock is the Riverside Museum at Blake's Lock which tells the story of Reading's two rivers — the Kennet and the Thames. The museum occupies two former industrial buildings, the Screen House and the Turbine House.[7] Exhibits include a gypsy caravan and information about the Romani people, a medieval mill wheel, preserved turbine machinery, and seasonal art exhibits.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "A User's Guide to the River Thames". PDF file. Environmental Agency. 2009. pp. 29–30. Retrieved 12 November 2012.  Dimensions given in metres
  2. ^ "Blake's Lock Museum Profile". web page. UK Local Business. 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Clew, Kenneth R (1978). Wessex Waterway - A Guide to the Kennet & Avon Canal. Moonraker Press. p. 9. 
  4. ^ a b Clew, Kenneth R (1978). Wessex Waterway - A Guide to the Kennet & Avon Canal. Moonraker Press. p. 14. 
  5. ^ "Blake's Lock". River Thames Guide. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 
  6. ^ Pearson, Michael (2003). Kennet & Avon Middle Thames: Pearson's Canal Companion. Central Waterways Supplies. 
  7. ^ "Riverside Museum". Reading Library Service. Archived from the original on 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Clew, Kenneth R (1978). Wessex Waterway - A Guide to the Kennet & Avon Canal. Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire: Moonraker Press. ISBN 0-239-00181-8. 
  • Pearson, Michael (2003). Kennet & Avon Middle Thames: Pearson's Canal Companion. Rugby: Central Waterways Supplies. ISBN 0-907864-97-X. 

External links[edit]


Next lock upstream River Kennet / Kennet and Avon Canal Next lock downstream
County Lock Blake's Lock
Grid reference: SU727735
Sonning Lock
(on River Thames)

Coordinates: 51°27′21″N 0°57′18″W / 51.45582°N 0.95506°W / 51.45582; -0.95506