Teddington Lock

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Teddington Lock
TeddLock.JPG
Teddington Lock undergoing maintenance. From left to right - rollers, skiff lock, launch lock and barge lock
Waterway River Thames
County Greater London
Maintained by Environment Agency
Operation Launch Hydraulic
Skiff Manual
Barge Hydraulic
First built Launch 1811
Skiff 1858
Barge 1904
Length

Launch 54.22 m (177 ft 11 in)
Skiff 15.08 m (49 ft 6 in)
Barge 198.12 m (650 ft 0 in)

[1]
Width Launch 7.41 m (24 ft 4 in)
Skiff 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Barge 7.54 m (24 ft 9 in)[1]
Fall 2.68 m (8 ft 10 in)[1]
Above sea level 14 feet (4.3 m)
Teddington is normally manned 24 hours
Teddington Lock
Molesey Weir
Molesey Lock
Middlegreen Road
A309 Hampton Court Bridge
River Mole
River Ember
Thames Ditton Island
Ditton marina
Raven's Ait
Hogsmill River
A308 Kingston Bridge
Kingston Railway Bridge
Steven's Eyot
Teddington Weir
foot bridges
moorings
rollers
Skiff Lock
Launch Lock
Barge Lock
River Thames
Barrage at Teddington Lock

Teddington Lock is a complex of three locks and a weir on the River Thames in England at Ham in the western suburbs of London. The lock is on the southern Surrey side of the river.

The river downstream of the lock, known as the Tideway, is tidal, though the Richmond Lock barrage downstream limits the fall of water to maintain navigability at low tide. The boundary point between the Port of London Authority, which is the navigation authority downstream, and the Environment Agency, which is the navigation authority upstream is marked by an obelisk on the Surrey bank a few hundred yards below the lock. Though Teddington marks the tidal limit, in periods of very high fluvial flow the tidal influence can be seen as far upstream as East Molesey, location of the second lock on the Thames.[2][3]

The Teddington lock complex consists of three locks, a conventional launch lock, a very large barge lock and a small skiff lock. The barge lock has an additional set of gates in the middle so it can operate in two sizes.

The large bow shaped weir stretches across to Teddington from an island upstream of the lock which also acts as the centre point for the two bridges making up Teddington Lock Footbridge.

History[edit]

First lock, 1810[edit]

Construction of the first lock started after the City of London Corporation obtained an Act of Parliament in June 1810 allowing them to build locks at Chertsey, Shepperton, Sunbury and Teddington. The lock was further upstream than the present lock complex at the point where the footbridge now crosses.

The first lock was designed by Clerk of Works to the Corporation, Stephen Leach (c. 1777–1842). It followed a proposal to build locks at Molesey and Teddington made in 1802 by Leach's predecessor, Charles Truss, which featured solid weirs with long overfalls and a similar proposal by Zachary Allnut in 1805 with weirs that could be completely opened in time of flood. Leach oversaw the works, conducted by contractors Joseph Kimber and John Dows who also built Sunbury Lock.[4][5]

It opened in June 1811 and the weir was completed by the end of that year. The lock comprised three pairs of gates as stipulated in the act.[5] Total cost for lock, cut, weir, ballast and ground was £22,035 10s. 7 12d. of which the land from Lord Dysart's estate cost £282 10s. 5d..[6]

Rebuild, 1857[edit]

By 1827 the timber lock needed considerable repair and in 1829 the weir was destroyed by an accumulation of ice. It is noted that in 1843 the lock-keeper prevented a steam vessel from coming through the lock. At that time steam vessels were limited to travel as far as Richmond. A further problem arose in 1848 when old London Bridge was removed, leading to a drop of 2 ft 6 inches at the lower sill, and resulting in the occasional grounding of barges.

Consideration was given to removing the lock altogether.[7] However, it was decided to rebuild the lock and in June 1854 proposals included providing capacity for seagoing craft with a side lock for pleasure traffic. In June 1857 the first stone of the new lock was laid at the present position, being the central of the three locks, and it opened in 1858 together with the narrow skiff lock, (known as "the coffin"). The boat slide was added in 1869 and in the 1870s it is recorded that the weir collapsed twice causing enormous damage.

Footbridges and Barge Lock[edit]

The footbridges were opened in 1889 and finally the barge lock, the largest lock on the river, was built in 1904–1905.[8]

World War II[edit]

In 1940 Teddington Lock was the assembly point for an enormous flotilla of small ships from the length of the River Thames to be used in the Evacuation of Dunkirk.

Recent developments[edit]

Early twenty-first century renovation and improvement work in the area around the locks was undertaken as part of the Thames Landscape Strategy Teddington Gateway project.[9][10]

In 2009 a local community group initiated a feasibility study for exploiting Teddington's weir for electricity generation, inspired by similar community-led generation schemes; Torrs Hydro and Settle Hydro. The study was encouraging and the Ham Hydro project now proposes using three reverse-Archimedean screws with a total output of 492 kilowatts (660 hp).[11] Environmental concerns, notably those raised by anglers about the potential effect on fish populations, prompted further environmental surveys during 2012. The outcome of these considerations is awaited before the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames will determine whether planning permission is to be granted for the scheme.[12][13]

Access to and across the lock[edit]

The lock is situated on the towpath on the Surrey side in Ham about a mile below Kingston-upon-Thames. It can normally only be reached on foot. The nearest road is Riverside Drive in Ham. Alternatively the lock can be reached from Ferry Road Teddington over the footbridges which cross the river here.

Reach above the lock[edit]

Kingston from the river

Centred 0.5 miles (0.80 km) above the lock is long Trowlock Island towards the Teddington bank, followed by small Steven's Eyot in the centre of the river. There are then Kingston Railway and Kingston Bridges. After 1 mile (1.6 km) the river then curves sharply to the right with Thames Ditton Island towards the village of the same name. Finally before Molesey Lock is Hampton Court Bridge.

On the Middlesex (Teddington etc.) side of the river going upstream, the bank generally consists of homes and gardens/communal grounds up to and inclusive of Hampton Wick at Kingston Bridge; Teddington Studios, Lensbury Club, watersports clubs/a football club and the nature reserve at Trowlock are on the stretch. Above Kingston Bridge is Hampton Court Park, which stretches as far as Hampton Court Bridge. Half the Longford River, which feeds the water-features of Hampton Court Palace, runs out of a grated culvert opposite Raven's Ait and below the Water Gallery. After Hampton Court Bridge (along the side of the weir stream) the bank adopts food/hotel use then residential use.

Scullers, skiffs and Thames Raters at Raven's Ait on one of the most active stretches of the river

On the Surrey side is a consistent green buffer and towpath between the river and Ham/Kingston, widening to Canbury Gardens, until the high-rise town centre is reached. The town's buildings switch to entertainment immediately south of Kingston Bridge. After the canalised mouth of the Hogsmill the riverside switches to a promenade with road by residential uses until Seething Wells reservoirs. Raven's Ait is upstream of the bridges in the centre of the river at Surbiton, followed by a marina. Long and Thames Dittons's riverside homes and pubs follow until beyond Thames Ditton Island. A riverside park and playing fields flank the mouth of the Mole until Hampton Court Bridge, near to the top of the reach, overlooking part of the Palace. Hampton Court railway station is before the bridge and just above it is Molesey Lock.

Boats[edit]

There are navigation transit markers between Kingston Bridge and Raven's Ait on the Hampton Court bank, to allow river users to check their speed. A powered boat may not pass except in emergencies between the markers in less than one minute. The reach is home to at least five sailing clubs, five rowing clubs, two skiffing and punting clubs, the Royal Canoe Club and two Sea Cadet centres. Numerous pleasure boats ply for trade, London Riverboat services and chartered trips between Kingston and Hampton Court.

Thames Path[edit]

The Thames Path as its towpath follows the Surrey side to Kingston Bridge where it crosses to run alongside Hampton Court Park, before returning to what is traditionally (and in navigation use) termed 'the Surrey side' at Hampton Court Bridge.

Sinuosity[edit]

The river makes an acute inside angle on this reach — the two locks are less than half the distance apart by land.

Sports clubs on the reach[edit]

The skiff lock at Teddington

Popular culture and the media[edit]

The lock was the location of the Monty Python Fish-Slapping Dance sketch.

In episode 1 of series 5 of New Tricks (BBC TV police drama), the villain is arrested at Teddington Lock.

Thames Television had purpose-built studios at Teddington Lock.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Next lock upstream River Thames Next lock downstream
Molesey Lock
7.74 km (4.81 mi) [14]
Teddington Lock
Grid reference: TQ165716
Richmond Lock

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "A User's Guide to the River Thames". PDF file. Environmental Agency. 2009. pp. 29–30. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26133660
  3. ^ http://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=6080&p=0
  4. ^ Skempton, Alec W., ed. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland 1. London: Thomas Telford, on behalf of the Institution of Civil Engineers. pp. 14,397. ISBN 9780727729392. OCLC 223272473. 
  5. ^ a b Thacker, Fred. S. (1914). The Thames Highway. Holborn, London: Fred S. Thacker. pp. 206–208. LCCN 15024238. 
  6. ^ "Journal of the House of Commons" 69. HMSO. 1813. p. 844. (Appendix) 
  7. ^ "Number II, The Mapledurham Scheme". The Civil Engineers and Architect's Journal 13: 66. February 1840. 
  8. ^ Thacker, Fred. S. (1920). The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs. republished 1968 David & Charles. ISBN 9780715342336. 
  9. ^ "Thames Landscape Strategy Teddington Gateway project". Retrieved 14 November 2005. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Oldest timber lock gates on the Thames treated to a makeover". Environment Agency. 15 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "From Idea To Reality". Ham Hydro. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Hydropower at Teddington Weir". Thames Anglers Conservancy. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Fleming, Christine (28 December 2011). "Teddington weir hydro-electric application submitted". Richmond Guardian. 
  14. ^ "Environment Agency Distances between locks on the River Thames". web page. Environmental Agency. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.  Distances given in km

Coordinates: 51°25′53″N 0°19′26″W / 51.4315°N 0.3239°W / 51.4315; -0.3239