Canal double lock, now disused. Constructed in 1779, repaired in the late C18 and mid-C19. Designed by architect Anthony Keck for the Stroudwater Canal Company.
Reason for Listing
Ryeford Double Lock is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
Architectural: as a rare example, in the South of England, of a late-C18 double lock
Historic interest: one of the few structures on the Cotswold Canals that was designed by a well-known provincial architect
Group value: it forms a cogent grouping with other canal-related buildings that are listed, including the adjacent lock keeper's cottage
The Stroudwater Navigation, built in 1775-9, was designed to link the River Severn at Framilode to Stroud, allowing coal to be brought from Shropshire, Staffordshire and the Forest of Dean to the textile mills of the Stroud valleys. The Thames and Severn Canal, constructed in 1783-9, was designed to run eastwards from Stroud, eventually linking the River Severn to the River Thames at Inglesham, near Lechlade. The Cotswold Canals, as they are also known, were generally successful, though the Thames and Severn in particular suffered serious technical failings which compromised its profitability; despite this, both canals continued in use well into the C20.
The double lock at Ryeford was constructed in 1779 and designed by well-known provincial architect Anthony Keck for the Stroudwater Canal Company. It was built to accommodate Severn trows rather than Thames barges. Problems were experienced during the lock's construction and parts of the walls had to be rebuilt, firstly in 1789 when the repairs where funded by Keck himself, and again in 1845 when ground movement problems were solved by adding three brick-lined circular drainage openings to the chamber wall. In the 1980s much of the north wall of the chamber was rebuilt following flood damage.
MATERIALS: red brick with limestone and granite dressings.
PLAN: a double lock with widening entrances at the west and east ends, that was divided into two chambers by a central pair of gates, making this a double lock without a separating pound.
DESCRIPTION: the retaining walls to the chambers are of brick with large limestone ashlar coping stones; part of the offside (north) wall was rebuilt following flood damage in the 1980s. There are granite dressings at the gate positions and the iron restraining straps that formerly attached to the timber gate posts remain in situ. In addition there are some paddle windlasses, but those on the offside have been renewed. The former pairs of gates are now missing, although there are traces of ground paddles above the position of the middle and upper gates. On the south side of the lock is a flight of stone steps that lead from the lower to the middle level, and some of the setts for one of the quadrants remain visible.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.