Camden Lock

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Hampstead Road Lock No 1
(Camden Lock)
Camden Lock London.jpg
The twin locks
Waterway Regent's Canal
County Camden
Greater London
Maintained by British Waterways
Operation Manual
Fall 8 feet (2.4 m)
Distance to
Limehouse Basin
6.17 miles (9.9 km)
Distance to
Paddington Basin
2.77 miles (4.5 km)
Coordinates 51°32′28″N 0°08′45″W / 51.5411°N 0.1457°W / 51.5411; -0.1457Coordinates: 51°32′28″N 0°08′45″W / 51.5411°N 0.1457°W / 51.5411; -0.1457

Camden Lock, or Hampstead Road Locks is a twin manually operated lock on the Regent's Canal in Camden Town, London Borough of Camden. The twin locks together are "Hampstead Road Lock 1"; each bears a sign so marked. Hawley Lock and Kentish Town Lock are a short distance away to the east; there are no nearby locks to the west.[1]


The locks were constructed between 1818 and 1820 by supervising engineer James Morgan with architect John Nash, and replaced an innovative, but unsuccessful, hydropneumatic lock designed with the intention of saving water by military engineer William Congreve.[2] It is the only twin-lock remaining on the Canal, the remainder having been modified to single lock operation. The current locks are Grade II listed

The lock is to the west of the Camden High Street road bridge. The yard and former warehouses, an area known as Camden Lock, are on the north side of the canal, at the junction with Chalk Farm Road. This area is adjacent to a canal basin and holds Camden Lock Market, one of the group of markets often called collectively Camden Market. It is a busy market popular with visitors, with music venues, cafes and canal towpath walks. There is a large cut-steel sculpture by English artist Edward Dutkiewicz in the square beside the lock.

In November 2013, the locks were fully drained for maintenance; the public were invited for the weekend of the 16th and 17th of that month to see the infrastructure for themselves. [3]

Cultural references[edit]

A warm summer day at the Camden Lock
Camden Lock (north lock).
  • Camden Lock is best known in the UK as the address of TV-am the former ITV Breakfast Television franchisee in the 1980s and early 1990s, the address was often referred to on screen for the purpose of correspondence.
  • Camden Lock is one of many landmarks in this area of London to have a corresponding structure underground in the novel The Horn of Mortal Danger (1980).
  • The main spaceship in the British television science fiction sitcom Hyperdrive is called HMS Camden Lock.
  • The Italian band Modena City Ramblers wrote a song "Notturno, Camden Lock", with a lyric relating to Camden town where one of the band members lived.
  • The Russian band Aquarium mentions Camden Lock in its song "Garçon Number Two".
  • Kate Winslet appeared in a television commercial for American Express, strolling around Camden Lock.
  • In series 3 of British television comedy The League of Gentlemen, Legz Akimbo Theatre Company member Phil and his friend Tish stroll around Camden Lock. Tish comments "Camden's such a rip off, I love it".
  • The Japanese rock duo B'z re-recorded the song "Guitar Kids Rhapsody" from their second album Off the Lock. The song is referred to as "Camden Lock Style" because the music video for the re-recorded version was shot in and around Camden Lock.
  • The American band Small Town No Airport recorded a song "Camden Locke" on their self-titled 1991 release. The song's lyrics "I met a girl down at Camden Lock she was selling pictures that she drew with chalk..."


The Regent's Canal waterbus service

A regular waterbus service operates from Camden, heading westwards around Regent's Park, calling at London Zoo and on towards Little Venice.

Preceding station   London Waterbus Company   Following station
[[]] Terminus

The tow path is open to pedestrians and cyclists.

The nearest London Underground station is Camden Town on the Northern line. The nearest London Overground station is Camden Road station.


  1. ^ "In Your Area London". Canal & River Trust. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sir William Congreve's Hydro-pneumatic Lock". The New Monthly Magazine. 4 (19): 116–120. 1 August 1815. 
  3. ^ "Camden Lock drained and opened to public before restoration". BBC News. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 

See also[edit]