An historic sea lock on the Lancaster Canal is undergoing a five week refurbishment, thanks to a £33,000 boost by the Canal & River Trust.
The lock at Glasson Dock is a scheduled monument and dates back to 1824 – refurbishment will be carried out in two stages.
The gate refurbishment is a complex job say the trust, with the gates representing the divide between the freshwater canal on one side and tidal seawater on the other.
“This project has been completely different to our usual maintenance role on the canal mainline,” said Dave Bradbury, Lancaster Canal supervisor for the Canal and River Trust.
The lock gates mark the end of the Lancaster Canal Glasson Branch and are the gateway to the Irish Sea, via Glasson Dock and the Lune estuary.
They are mainly used by sea-going yachts and cruisers moored in Glasson Basin Marina. Divers were employed to release the underwater chains holding the large 10 tonne gates in place.
The gates were then cradled in slings and craned out of the water into a temporary open air repair yard created on the grass verge next to the lock.
The wooden frames, which are made of the dense hardwood greenheart, have been in situ for at least 40 years and are still in good condition but the corroded metalwork and oak planking are being replaced.
“The gates are twice as heavy as standard canal lock gates due to their size and density of the hardwood,” said David.
The restored sea lock gates are due to be operational from February 13 but the lock will be closed again for a further five weeks in November for the second stage of the project when the lock gates leading to Glasson Basin are scheduled for similar refurbishment.