Foxton Locks are 10 canal locks consisting of two 'staircases' of five locks each on the Leicester line of the Grand Union Canal about 4 miles west of Market Harborough.
These locks were built at the beginning of the 19th century and are only navigable by narrow beam boats. Nearby, and on the same site, an inclined plane for broader beam boats came into operation in 1910, but it closed down shortly afterwards as it was deemed not to be commercially viable. Evidence of the inclined plane can still be seen today. During the time we were there, the locks were very busy on a warm and sunny day in October.
Several lock masters were helping keep the boats moving: in the morning the journey was up the locks one behind the other; and in the afternoon, the same process was repeated in a downwardly direction. It is said that a journey through all ten locks can take 45 minutes: while the skipper steers the boat through the locks, all the hard work is done by the other person(s) on the boat opening and closing the gates and controlling the large paddle arms.
There are 2 pubs on the site to reward the workers. All the activity provided good opportunities for capturing images.
Click on an image for a larger size
Closing A Paddle
Closing The Footbridge
Laying At Rest
Opening A Gate
Waiting To Go Down