Tim's One Photograph a Day

Monkey Marsh Turf Lock, Kennet & Avon Canal.

Monkey Marsh Turf Lock.

Monkey Marsh Turf Lock: View inside the Turf Lock.

View inside the Turf Lock.

A rather unusual Scheduled Ancient Monument today! Cruising back to Newbury, we pass through Monkey Marsh Turf Lock, outside Thatcham. One of only two remaining on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Turf locks used to be a common feature in the early days. They were cheap to build, and easy to maintain. However, because they are wider than a brick or masonry lock, they use a lot more water.

On a river navigation, this was not necessarily an issue. All the locks on the River Kennet section of the Kennet & Avon were originally built as turf-sided locks. All but two, however, have been converted to brick.

Being on our narrowboat, I was able to take today’s photograph inside the lock, to give a slightly different perspective. You can see how the sides slope, adding to the width at the top. This is why they use much more water.

Monkey Marsh Turf Lock was originally built in the early 1700s, and is probably due to celebrate its 300th birthday fairly soon! It has a rise of 8′ 8″.

Photograph Details

  • Taken: 7 Apr 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
  • Focal Length 65mm
  • F/6.3
  • 1/160 Sec
  • ISO 100

2 thoughts on “Monkey Marsh Turf Lock, Kennet & Avon Canal.

  1. Pingback: The Mission on the Canal.

  2. Chris Goldsmith

    The rise/fall at Monkey Marsh lock is nowhere near 8 feet 8 inches. Nicholson’s cruising guide to the Kennet & Avon canal gives it as 6 feet 8 inches but even this is grossly inaccurate. I myself have measured it, at different times, at between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 10 inches (it’s a river navigation so levels can vary according to the amount of “fresh”) and most of the other figures given in Nicholson’s for various locks are not to be relied upon.

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