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List of locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal

Related subjects: Geography of Great Britain

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The Kennet and Avon Canal is a canal in southern England. The name may refer to either the route of the original Kennet and Avon Canal Company, which linked the River Kennet at Newbury to the River Avon at Bath, or to the entire navigation between the River Thames at Reading and the Floating Harbour at Bristol, including the earlier improved river navigations of the River Kennet between Reading and Newbury and the River Avon between Bath and Bristol.

The River Kennet was made navigable to Newbury in 1723, and the River Avon to Bath in 1727. The Kennet and Avon Canal between Newbury and Bath was built between 1794 and 1810 by John Rennie, to convey commercial barges carrying a variety of cargoes. and is 57 miles (92 km) long. The two river navigations and the canal total 87 miles (140 km) in length. The section from Bristol to Bath is the course of the River Avon, which flows through a wide valley and has been made navigable by a series of locks and weirs.

There are a total of 105 locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal from Bristol to the River Thames, including 6 on the navigable section of the River Avon from Bristol to Bath and 9 on the navigable section of the River Kennet to its confluence with the Thames near Reading. The remaining 90 locks lie along the 57 miles (92 km) of canal.

In Bath the canal separates from the river but follows its valley as far as Bradford on Avon. The ornate Bath Locks lead to a stretch through Limpley Stoke valley with few locks. The flight of locks at Devizes, including the Caen Hill Locks, raises the canal to its longest pound, which then ascends the 4 Wooton Rivers locks to the short summit pound which includes the Bruce Tunnel. Pumping stations are used to supply the canal with water. The canal continues through the rural landscape of Wiltshire and Berkshire before joining the River Kennet at Newbury and becoming a navigable river to Reading, where it flows into the River Thames.

In the later 19th century and early 20th century the canal fell into disuse following competition from the Great Western Railway, who owned the canal. Between 1970 and 1990 the canal was restored, largely by volunteers, and today is a popular heritage tourism destination, for boating, canoeing, fishing, walking and cycling. It is also important for wildlife conservation.

Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal


A weir with water flowing from right to left, surrounded by trees and vegetation.
Weir at Swineford Lock.
Weston Lock, Bath.
Bath Deep Lock.
Lock keepers cottage at Semington Locks.
A series of approximately 20 black lock gates with white ends to the paddle arms and wooden railings, each slightly higher than the one below. On the right is a path and on both sides grass and vegetation.
The flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill, Devizes, forming part of locks 22-50.
Canal flowing away from the photographer divides into two channels with the right hand one arriving at lock gates. To the is a building and to the right a footpath and a pub.
Newbury Lock.
Narrow boat (named Toad) emerging from lock with black gates and white ends of the gate arms. Around the lock is a grassy area.
Tyle Mill Lock, Sulhamstead.

The following list numbers the locks from the River Avon in Bristol to the River Thames. It includes one lock that has been removed (98, Ufton Lock) and two that have been combined to form a single deep lock (8 and 9, now Bath Deep Lock). Travelling from Bristol to Reading, locks 1 to 54 are uphill, and locks 55 to 107 are downhill.

Lock number Lock name Grid ref Listed Building grade Rise / fall
imperial metres
1 Hanham Lock ST646700 II
2 Keynsham Lock ST658690 6ft 10in 2.1
3 Swineford Lock ST691689 4ft 4in 1.3
4 Saltford Lock ST692679 3ft 10in 1.2
5 Kelston Lock ST688669 3ft 1in 0.9
6 Weston Lock ST725648 9 ft 3in 2.8
7 Bath Bottom Lock ST756643 II 9 ft 3in 2.8
8/9 Bath Deep Lock ST756643 II 19 ft 5in 5.9
10 Wash House Lock ST756643 II 8 ft 6in 2.6
11 Abbey View Lock ST756643 II 9 ft 0in 2.7
12 Pultney Lock ST756643 II 9 ft 5in 2.9
13 Bath Top Lock ST756643 II 9 ft 0in 2.7
14 Bradford Lock ST825602 10 ft 3in 3.1
15 Buckley's Lock ST900609 8 ft 0in 2.4
16 Barrett's Lock ST900609 7 ft 10in 2.4
17–21 Seend Locks ST933613 38 ft 4ins 11.7
22–50 Caen Hill Locks ST978614 II 237 ft 72.2
51 Wootton Rivers Bottom Lock SU198629 II 8 ft 0ins 2.4
52 Heathy Close Lock SU201631 8 ft 1in 2.5
53 Brimslade Lock SU209634 II 8 ft 0in 2.4
54 Wootton Top Lock SU212634 8 ft 0in 2.4
Summit of the canal
55–63 Crofton Locks SU254622 II 61 ft 0in 18.6
64 Bedwyn Church Lock SU278641 II 7 ft 11ins 2.4
65 Burnt Mill Lock SU283649 7 ft 9ins 2.4
66 Potter's Lock SU288654 7 ft 6ins 2.3
67 Little Bedwyn Lock SU290659 6 ft 7ins 2.0
68 Oakhill Down Lock SU299671 II 5 ft 11in 1.8
69 Froxfield Middle Lock SU301674 6 ft 11in 2.1
70 Froxfield Bottom Lock SU303676 7 ft 0in 2.1
71 Picketfield Lock SU315680 7 ft 0in 2.1
72 Cobbler's Lock SU321684 8 ft 3in 2.5
73 Hungerford Marsh Lock SU326685 8 ft 1in 2.5
74 Hungerford Lock SU336687 8 ft 0in 2.4
75 Dun Mill Lock SU352683 II 5 ft 8in 1.7
76 Wire Lock SU363681 II 6 ft 10in 2.1
77 Brunsden Lock SU372676 II 4 ft 11in 1.5
78 Kintbury Lock SU386671 5 ft 9in 1.7
79 Dreweatt's Lock SU411673 II 5 ft 9in 1.7
80 Copse Lock SU416670 6 ft 0in 1.8
81 Hamstead Lock SU424671 II 6 ft 5in 2.0
82 Benham Lock SU438665 6 ft 3in 1.9
83 Higg's Lock SU447667 5 ft 10in 1.8
84 Guyer's Lock SU453669 II 7 ft 0in 2.1
85 Newbury Lock SU470671 II 3 ft 6in 1.1
86 Greenham Lock SU480673 8 ft 11in 2.7
87 Ham Lock SU487672 4 ft 2in 1.3
88 Bull's Lock SU499667 5 ft 9in 1.8
89 Widmead Lock SU508663 3 ft 7in 1.1
90 Monkey Marsh Lock SU522662 8 ft 8in 2.6
91 Colthrop Lock SU538663 7 ft 7in 2.3
92 Midgham Lock SU548662 7 ft 7in 2.3
93 Heale's Lock SU562663 8 ft 11in 2.7
94 Woolhampton Lock SU571665 8 ft 11in 2.7
95 Aldermaston Lock SU601671 II 8 ft 11in 2.7
96 Padworth Lock SU606672 5 ft 1in 1.6
97 Towney Lock SU610680 9 ft 8in 3.0
98 Site of Ufton Lock (ungated) SU617686
99 Tyle Mill Lock SU626691 6 ft 4in 1.9
100 Sulhamstead Lock SU637698 4 ft 1in 1.2
101 Sheffield Lock SU648706 II* 2 ft 2in 0.6
102 Garston Lock SU655707 II* 7 ft 7in 2.3
103 Burghfield Lock SU674709 7 ft 0in 2.1
104 Southcote Lock SU693712 5 ft 3in 1.7
105 Fobney Lock SU705710 7 ft 8 in 2.2
106 County Lock SU713729 1 ft 2in 0.3
107 Blake's Lock SU727735 3 ft 6in 1.1
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