Saturday 12 March 2011

Elmer Sands

Myself, Ruth and Mabel spent a few hours here while Billy was at doggy re-hab!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Iron Gates Lock

This wonderful old structure was completed about 1793, enabling barges to travel up the River Ouse as far as Sheffield Park Bridge. It wasn`t until 1816 that the river was made navigable as far up as Ryelands wharf near the Ouse Valley Viaduct.

The first I knew about this lock was seeing it marked on an old ordnance survey map in the porch of Fletching church in the 1970`s. I managed to walk to it about 35 years ago and remember it being in quite good condition. The walls were complete but there was no sign of the iron gates. Now, 35 years later and it`s almost vanished from sight. Strong winds have brought trees down which have ripped the brickwork apart. The western end is in good condition and you can clearly see the sill in place and the recesses where the gates sat.

These locks were 52ft long and 13ft wide, made of brick with sandstone blocks along the edges. The barges were horse drawn and tolls were payable depending how far up the river you went.