Sunday, 6 December 2015

Delph Locks

After reading a bit more about the re-location of Delph Locks I was even more intrigued, I read there was a lock keepers cottage but having done the flight a few times there was no evidence of it at all so yesterday I took Dudley back to the flight to have a good look. 

The original nine locks the Delph flight opened in June 1779, but they were little used until the Stourbridge Canal opened in December 1779 and linked the two. The Dudley No 1 Canal terminates at the bottom of the locks and that's where the Stourbridge Canal starts. Over the years as demand grew along with the effects of subsidence from coal mining and the quality of construction, work began on their replacement in 1856 which was completed in 1858. The top and bottom locks were retained and the remaining seven were replaced with six. 

The original line of the canal continued along under the bridge the end of the basin is the site of the second lock in the flight which is the only one still remaining today but if you continue down the original line of the canal you can see where the canal ran and the sites of some of the other locks, which have all been filled in now, you can also see the original Lock Keepers cottage, which is now in a row of other houses. 

I was surprised to see evidence of gates, bearing in mind the flight closed in 1858

Still has the winding mechanism

The Lock Keepers Cottage

I could easily make out the dip and shape of this one

The site of Lock 7

Looking back at where the original locks would have been

The original flight would have been to the right of the existing locks

Looking down the original flight, the new locks are over to the right
The bridge over the basin is dated 1858 so wouldn't have existed on the original line of the canal, I'm also guessing the stable block was a 1858 addition as it is on the line of the new locks and also fronts onto it, the original canal would have been behind it and a bit further away.

The locks and surrounding land now form the Delph 'Nine' Locks Conservation Area. The Lock Keepers Cottage built in 1779 is a Grade II listed building, it is one of only a few surviving houses of its type.

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