Griggs’ Report 1844: No 2 Lock called Roydon Brick Lock is affected by a Mill. Depth of water on the lower sill. Coleman says 3’ 8’’; but it appears to me that the level of the Tumbling Mill gates below would run the water off lower than 3’ 8’’ on the lock lower sill. The two pairs of lock gates were put down in 1838. The lock has a fir apron and a cart bridge attached at the tail. About ¾ in length of the north west side of the brickwork was put down in 1821. The brickwork on the other side is old. Otherwise this lock is in good order. Depth of water on the upper sill 5’ 0’’. No 1 Lock House at Roydon Mill Lock. Good repair dated 1830
Beardmore’s Report 1870: Roydon Mill Lock is in middling repair
Childs’ Report 1880: Brick Lock – Toll Collection Lock. Upper gates old want renewing entirely (going to be done this year. Brickwork throughout requires repair.. Lower gates, 1 very old and the other about 10 years old, require renewing. Altogether this lock ought to have £500 spent on it within a couple of years. Plenty of depth over sill. Lockhouse date 1830, office and washhouse brick built, slated and tiled, one story high with loft over, in very fair condition.
Childs' Report 1884: '' Upper gates new. Brickwork partly renewed. Lower gates, one very old and the other about 10 years old, require renewing. Altogether this lock ought to have £300 spent on it within a couple of years, plenty of depth over the sill. Lockhouse (date 1830) Office and wash-house, brick built, slated and tiled, one storey high, with loft over, in very fair condition."
Tween's Report 1901: "Upper gates 1885 Brickwork on east side bad. Lower gates 1890. Requires £400 spent on it. Lower sill should be lowered 1' 6'' . Lockhouse (date 1830) Office and wash-house, brick built, slated and tiled, one storey high, with Loft over, in very fair condition."
For comparison - after complete renovation, it was available in September 2011 for offers in excess of £750,000!
This is one of the two original brick chambers– hence the name. It used to be Brick Cistern Lock.
The last twist in the history of the privately owned River Stort Navigation was precipitated by the collapse of the northern wall of the lock.
From the Minutes of the Board of the Lee Conservancy: “…the Engineer and Manager reported that the collapse of Brick Lock, Roydon, took place at 11 p.m. on the night of 20th April, 1909….the work of clearing the obstruction was proceeding very slowly, the brickwork being still at the bottom of the lock; that he visited the place on the 10th May, 1909, and found that the Stort Navigation Company had six men employed, working ordinary time, removing the earth from the side of the lock so as to form a slope; that at the present rate of progress it would be many months before the Navigation would be again open to traffic; that the Stort barges, with the exception of one, were shut in above the lock; that the obstruction was a serious matter for the Conservancy on account of the loss of tolls and for the traders on the Stort; that he had written to Mr Gee, the Solicitor to the Company, offering, on behalf of the Board, to assist in opening the Navigation to traffic as soon as possible, such assistance to be at the expense of the proprietors of the Stort Navigation….” (NA Rail 845/36)
The Board was already engaged in talks with Sir Walter Gilbey with regard to the purchase of the Navigation. At the same meeting, it was minuted that “…the Board be recommended to proceed with the purchase of the Stort, and that the solicitors be instructed to prepare a provisional contract with Sir Walter Gilbey for the purchase of the whole of his interest in the river….the purchase money to be the sum of £500 promised by the Metropolitan Water Board and the contributions also promised by the…. Councils of Bishops Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Hadham and Ware…”
The collapse of the lock and the assistance provided by the Lee Conservancy in rebuilding it, led to the eventual purchase of the Navigation from Sir Walter Gilbey by the Board in 1911 – for the princely sum of 5/- (25p)!
The lock house here is the only survivor of the seven cottages built in the 18th century by Sir George Duckett.
The chamber of this lock was further rebuilt in 1913 after Charles Tween reported that "I propose that these two locks (Lower and Brick) should be taken in hand at the same time....the side which fell in 1909 was rebuilt at the same depth as the old side therefore it will have to be underpinned. The brickwork on the Towing Path side is in rather a bad state but I think can be underpinned and made safe. The upper sills must be lowered about 7 ins and the bottom of the lock will have to be lowered about 1ft 9ins." (LMA/ACC 2423/013). The work was completed by 5.6.1914 and the materials removed upstream to Roydon Lock (LMA/ACC 2423/014)
There is a miller's plate beside the top gate.
Brick Lock Cottage
This site was last updated 19-Aug-2014