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The Historic Environment Record is the primary index about the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Not all records are published on the Heritage Gateway. Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data.

This site is designated as being of national importance and is afforded additional protection. Consult the West Berkshire archaeology service if more information or advice is needed.

HER Number MWB5780
Record Type Monument
Name Garston Lock (Lock 102)
Grid Reference SU 655 707
Map Sheet SU67SE
Parish Burghfield, West Berkshire
Theale, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Grade II* listed 18th century turf sided canal lock, modified and widened in the 19th century

Associated Legal Designations or Protected Status

  • Listed Building (II*) 1117125: GARSTON LOCK AT SU 656708

Other Statuses and Cross-References

  • Berkshire SMR No. (pre 2000): 05050.12.000
  • National Monuments Record No.: SU 67 SE 107
    SU 656 708

Monument Types

  • CANAL LOCK (18th century to Mid to Late 19th century - 1718 AD to 1854 AD)

Full Description

Garston Lock consists of a turf sided chamber protected by a framework of GWR broad gauge rail (and sleeper) which also supports a solid lower wall of Welsh slate; this revetment of slate is a unique feature for locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal. The chamber becomes brick at gates, continues into brick wing walls with brick coping. It was built between 1718 and 1723, widened in 1767 for Newbury type barges. The lock is of at least two phases, with the earliest 18th century phase largely destroyed when it was widened.

The revised Pevsner <12> says it is only one of two surviving turf-sided locks in Britain. It is Grade II* listed.

The lock has two sets of double wooden gates, the top gates with mechanical gate paddle gearing and the bottom gates with hydraulic gate paddle gearing.

A timber head apron (platform at the entrance to a lock chamber) of mid 18th century date was discovered during restoration work at the turf-sided Garston Lock in 1993-4 <9><10>. It comprised a base plate, plank floor, side walls and mitre cill. This fell out of use when the lock was shortened and widened in c1854.

Sources and further reading

<01>Clew, K R. 1973. The Kennet & Avon Canal. [Monograph / SWB6828]
<02>Berry, W. 2009. The Kennet and Avon Navigation - A History. [Monograph / SWB147998]
<03>Lindley-Jones, P. 2002. Restoring the Kennet & Avon Canal. [Monograph / SWB147997]
<04>Historic England (previously English Heritage). ?-present. NMR Buildings Files on Historic England Archive. BF097439. [Index / SWB147173]
http://archive.historicengland.org.uk/default.aspx (Accessed 25/09/2015)
<05>The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Ltd. 1980. The Kennet & Avon Canal in Pictures - from Bath to Reading. Photo. [Monograph / SWB14607]
<06>Pattray Publications. 1974. Map of the Kennet & Avon Canal - Reading to Hungerford. One inch to the mile. Lock No 102. [Map / SWB14605]
<07>Clew, K R & The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Ltd. 1974. The Kennet & Avon Canal Guide. Number One - Historical Background. [Unpublished document / SWB14604]
<08>Dalby, L J. 1973. The Kennet Navigation. [Unpublished document / SWB14602]
<09>Wessex Archaeology. 1993. Garston Lock, Kennet and Avon Canal - Archaeological survey and recording. W568. [Unpublished document / SWB13629]
<10>1995. Industrial Archaeology Review, Vol XV11,No 2, Spring 1995. Vol XVII. p159-170 An Archaeological Survey and Watching Brief at Garston Lock.. by P A Harding. [Article in serial / SWB12332]
<11>Newbury Weekly News. 1994. Work on historical lock nears completion. [Article in serial / SWB13478]
<12>Tyack, G, Bradley, S and Pevsner, N. 2010. The Buildings of England (Berkshire). p224. [Monograph / SWB147855]
<13>British Waterways. 2010. Garston Lock No 102, Kennet & Avon Canal. WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB148273]
<14>British Waterways. 2011. Garston Lock (Gr II*) - Brickwork repairs August 2011. WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB148970]

Related Monuments

MWB6713GARSTON LOCK - Apron (Monument)
MWB5758KENNET & AVON CANAL - General record (Monument)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB430Garston Lock, Kennet and Avon Canal, Burghfield, Berkshire (Ref: W568)
EWB431Garston Lock, Kennet and Avon Canal, Burghfield (Ref: WB665)