Griggs’ Report 1844: No 1 Lock called Field’s Lock; depth of water on Fields Lock lower sill I found as the water was 5’ 8’’ But Mr Seymour says the regular depth is 5’ 6’’. Therefore the Cart Bridge at the tail of the Lock has a clear headroom of 5’ 4’’. The cart bridge has 5 oak timbers and fir planked; the lower and upper gates were put down in 1817. The lower gates were spliced two years ago; the planking of the lower gates is very indifferent. The brickwork from the horse* wants repairing. Otherwise Fields Lock is in working order; depth of water on Fields Lock upper sill 4’ 6’’.
*Horse = Towing path
Beardmore’s Report 1870: Fieldes Lock is in good repair
Childs’ Report 1880: Lower Lock; Upper and lower gates old (1850) but fair condition for age, will require renewal shortly. Brickwork requires repair, side main piles bad, planking not so bad. This lock will require £400 expending on it within a few years. A new wooden hut about 5’ square.
Childs' Report 1884 ''Upper and Lower gates very old (1850), and in poor condition, will require renewal very shortly. Brickwork requires repair; side main piles bad. Planking not so bad. This lock will require £400 spending on it within a few years. (There is) a new Wooden hut about 5' square"
Tween's Report 1901: "Upper and Lower gates very old (1862), and in very bad condition, will require very urgent renewal. Brickwork requires repair; side main piles and planking bad....requires £300 spending on it. There is a Wooden hut about 5' square"
The chamber of this lock was 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... (LMA/ACC 2423/013)
Image below from the 1901 report
When the lock was drained in March 2010 for regating, the join between the original 1766-9 brickwork and the infill concrete of the rebuild in 1913 was clearly visible. It is interesting to note that the bottom of the lock chamber is flat not the concave curved invert more usually found.
Florence Salberter, British Waterways
As to the name, how obvious can you get, though I suppose grammatically, it should be Lowest Lock!
It had an earlier name in 1833, referring to the owner of the weir a little further downstream – Field’s Lock. By 1849 it was shown as Feilde’s Lock. See the Lee Navigation for Mr Field/Feilde’s other lock and the complexities of the spelling.
In January 2009, however, the graffiti artists had another name for it!
This site was last updated 17-Feb-2013