Former lock keeper's cottage, constructed in 1784. Built by the contractor John Davis for Stroudwater Canal Company.
Reason for Listing
Double Locks Cottage at Ryeford is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
Architectural: a late-C18 lock keeper's cottage that has undergone little external alteration
Historic interest: through its association with the history of inland navigation in England
Setting: the functional relationship between the cottage and the double lock complex is clearly legible
Group value: it forms a cogent grouping with the adjacent Grade II listed Ryeford Double Lock, and Ryeford Bridge to the west
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.
Soon after the completion of the Stroudwater Navigation in 1779, the Canal Company realised that a lock keeper was needed at Ryeford Double Lock due to its isolated location as the only place on the canal that was not adjacent to a road. Although the lock keeper was initially provided with a sentinel box, a two-storey cottage was constructed alongside the lock in 1784. The final lock keeper took up his post in 1930, and after the canal was closed to navigation, the cottage was sold.
MATERIALS: built of red brick, now rendered and painted, under a plain tiled roof with a gable brick stack that has been raised.
PLAN: a three-bay cottage of two-room plan, with an attached lean-to, formerly a shed, to the east gable end that was added in 1789, and a lean-to addition to the rear. The windows are small-paned timber casements, though some are C20 replacements.
EXTERIOR: the building is of two storeys, and its north (front) elevation, which is symmetrical, fronts onto the canal. It has a central doorway with a plank door and an open timber-gabled porch that appears to be a later addition. To either side of the entrance is a window, with three further windows to the first floor, all under segmental-arched heads. The date '1784' is inscribed above the central window. There is also a segmental-arched attic window to the west end. To the far left (east), in the north wall of the lean-to is a wide doorway that has been blocked.
INTERIOR: not inspected.
SUBSIDARY FEATURES: to the rear of the cottage is a small brick building with a pantile roof and a brick stack to the south gable end. It is said to have a plank door and small windows, with a stone-flagged floor to the interior. It has been suggested that this may have been the sentinel box for the first lock keeper.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.