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HER Number:MSH1858
Type of Record:Monument
Name:Former Mansbridge Lock
Grid Reference:SU 4486 1578
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Mansbridge Lock is a turf-sided lock on the Itchen Navigation between Mansbridge Road and the M27 motorway. The Navigation was built between 1665 and 1710 and the lock probably dates to that time. Commercial traffic on the Navigation ceased in 1869. The lock became overgrown. A survey and watching brief took place at the lock during clearance and restoration work in 1993 and ?1994 (SOU 529). Further clearance and restoration took place in 2007 and after as part of the Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project (ESH2014).

Protected Status: None recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • HER backup file (new series): SOU 529  (paper & digital)
  • Old Southampton SMR No/Backup file: SU 4415 NE 1  

Monument Types

  • CANAL LOCK (Built, Post Medieval - 1665 AD to 1710 AD? (between))
  • CANAL LOCK (in use, Post Medieval - 1710 AD? to 1869 AD (throughout))

Full description

[3][16]: Mansbridge Lock was a lock on the Itchen Navigation (MSH3885). The navigation is of late 17th/early 18th century date, construction virtually complete in 1710. Commercial traffic ceased in 1869.

[12]: (Short article, some further details.)

[14]: (Historical details section, mainly derived from [3].) The Itchen Navigation locks, including Mansbridge Lock, are all turf sided (unlike later canals) with either brick or stone work at either end housing gates. Timber or masonry “toe” to prevent undermining of sides (citing [3] page 14).

HER 2/9/10: Mansbridge Lock was probably built between 1665 and 1710, along with the rest of the Navigation, although it is not shown on the 1759 map [9] (see below).
The 1759 map [9] doesn't show a lock in the vicinity of Mansbridge Lock, although does show a path crossing the canal in approximately that location. The map does show a "Lock" some way to the north of this (perhaps Sandy Lock). The 1791 map [10] does show a "Lock" and bridge at the location of Mansbridge Lock. The 1810 map [15] only shows a bridge at approximately the location of Mansbridge Lock, although the lock is not shown (but then neither are other locks). The lock is shown in some detail on the 1869 map [4][5] and 1897 map [6][7]. (See parent record for all maps.)
SOU 529 (survey and watching brief at Itchen Navigation and Mansbridge Lock in 1993 and 1994):
[1]: Masonry settings for the upper and lower gates of the lock (which incorporate mouldings from a sizeable building). Evidence of timber remains between the upper gate. (No further details.)
[2]: (Includes an annotated map showing the proposed works on the lock.)
[8]: The survey showed that the gates had been supported by substantial brick structures c7.5m - 8.0m long, the ends of which extended over two metres back from the chamber wall (citing SOU 529 archive). (Mentioned in discussion of the results of SOU 1470, relating to the sea lock at Woodmill.)
[13]: Mentions the 1992 fieldwork and includes some photographs taken at that time.

[17]: (Draft report on SOU 529. No figures included, and needs to be read alongside plans in the site archive, not checked for this record.)
The two lock structures (north and south) were recorded.
- South lock. The walls were built of brick and limestone. Some stone blocks were held together with iron staples. Some stone was reused, possibly door or window mouldings. Behind the walls was a crushed chalk/earth mix. The walls included parts of the structure to take the gates. This lock may have been original late 17th/early 18th century work. The area between the two walls was not investigated below the water line.
- North lock. The walls were built of brick, and had perhaps been rebuilt. Behind the walls was a crushed chalk/earth mix.
The area between the walls was investigated and the remains to vertical timber structures found. These were probably the lock gates, and a timber sill. These were left in situ below the water line.
- The area between the two locks could not be excavated due to the presence of a cast iron drain.
- In the water meadows to the northeast, limestone fragments of lock structures were seen. These appeared to be gate pivots from the lock structures. It was recommended that these were used in the restoration.
Mansbridge lock is a rare example of a turf-sided lock. The few such locks on the Itchen Navigation may be the earliest surviving examples. (It is suggested in the report that Mansbridge lock should be scheduled.)
ESH2016 (desk-based assessment of Itchen Navigation, 2005):
[14]: WA67 (information derived from this record).
ESH2014 (Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project - started 2007, ongoing 2010):
[13]: Mansbridge Lock had become overgrown since the fieldwork in 1992 (= SOU 529). In late 2007, as part of the Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project, vegetation was cleared from around the lock, in order to carry out further archaeological investigation of the remains (details awaited/tbc).
[11]: Details of the Itchen Navigation conservation project.

HER 1/9/10: The brick and stonework of Mansbridge Lock was recently restored as part of this project. Photos of the restored lock, taken 27/6/10, are in HER photo archive (S:\HER_photos\Walkabout_Mansbridge_27.6.10\Itchen Navigation etc).

Sources / Further Reading

[1]SSH592 - Serial: Morton, AD (ed), SCC. 1994. Archaeological Investigations in Southampton for April 1991 to December 1993. p 21
[2]SSH1837 - Map: 1992. Two maps and plans of the Itchen Navigation in various HAEM files.. Paper.
[3]SSH1752 - Bibliographic reference: E Course. 1983. The Itchen Navigation.. p 7, p 11, p 14, plate 10
[4]SSH1494 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1869. OS Sheet 57.16 (Published in 1869). Paper. 1:2500.
[5]SSH1744 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1869. OS Sheet 65.4 (Published in 1869). Paper. 1:2500.
[6]SSH1495 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1897. OS Sheet 57.16 (Published in 1897). Paper. 1:2500.
[7]SSH1745 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1897. OS Sheet 65.4 (Published in 1897). Paper. 1:2500.
[8]SSH2882 - Archaeological Report: PR Cottrell. 2008. Archaeological watching brief at Woodmill Lane, Southampton.. SOU 1470. p9
[9]SSH1795 - Map: Taylor. 1759. Southampton and District in 1759. Paper. ?.
[10]SSH1794 - Map: T Milne (surveyed). 1791. Southampton and District in 1791. Paper. ?.
[11]SSH3734 - Web site: Hants and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Checked 2010. Hants and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust - The Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project.
[12]SSH3741 - Unpublished document: T Gould. 2009/2010. Mansbridge Lock..
[13]SSH2619 - Web site: Southampton Canal Society. 2010. Southampton Canal Society web site - Itchen Navigation pages. Sandy Lock to Mansbridge page
[14]SSH3738 - Unpublished document: Wessex Archaeology. 2005. Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail, Hampshire – Heritage Report for a Conservation Management Plan.. Historical summary & WA67 (App 3, p 56)
[15]SSH1797 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1810. Original Ordnance Survey One Inch Map of southern Hampshire (published 1810).. Paper. 1" to 1 mile.
[16]SSH3744 - Article in serial: E Course. 1967. The Itchen Navigation.. PHFC&AS Vol XXIV (for 1967), 1969, 113-126.
[17]SSH3902 - Archaeological Report: JG Vincent. ?1993. Draft Interim Report on Watching Brief and Survey of Mansbridge Lock, Itchen Navigation.. SOU 529.

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESH2014 - Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project (started 2007, ongoing 2010) (Ref: /)
  • ESH2016 - Conservation assessment (desk-based assessment) of the Itchen Navigation in 2005 (Ref: /)
  • ESH529 - Survey and watching brief at the Itchen Navigation and Mansbridge Lock in 1993 and 1994 (Ref: SOU 529)

Related records

MSH3885Child of: Itchen Navigation (part within Southampton city boundary)
MSH4300Peer (Functional Association): Former canal occupation bridge at Mansbridge Lock

Associated Links: None recorded

If you have any feedback or new information about this record, please email the Southampton HER (her@southampton.gov.uk).