Volunteers are now preparing to lay new foundations at lock 15 of the Grantham Canal in Lincolnshire as part of restoration work.

Since early 2015, volunteers have been painstakingly taking apart lock 15 on the Grantham Canal in Lincolnshire as part of efforts to preserve the derelict structure.

The lock walls had moved and were crumbling, allowing the whole lock to lean inwards.

As a result, volunteers from the Grantham Canal Society (GCS) had to remove the brick work piece by piece.

These were carefully cleaned and stored so the bricks can be used later in the restoration project.

Now, more than 100 tonnes of concrete will be poured to create new foundations for the lock.

This will make the structure much stronger. The walls will then be faced in traditional bricks to ensure an authentic look.

Work on lock 15, Grantham Canal

Work on lock 15. Credit: Grantham Canal Society


Lock 15 was designed and built by renowned canal engineer William Jessop over two centuries ago.

The restoration work is part of a project to bring locks 14 and 15 near Stenwith on the Grantham Canal back into use.

It has been awarded a £830,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is a joint undertaking between the society and the Canal & River Trust.

The trust’s project manager, Karen Rice, said: “This is a real milestone in the efforts to restore this historic lock and will help to ensure that the lock stands proudly for another 200 years.”

“The GCS volunteers have done a magnificent job, carefully dismantling the lock so that we can begin the important job of rebuilding it. Once the foundations are in place then the focus will be on rebuilding the walls and we’re really keen to hear from local bricklayers who would like to get involved and give some of their time,” said Rice.

“It’s a great opportunity to follow in the footsteps of William Jessop and the fruits of your labour will be on show for centuries to come,” she noted.

The five-year project is being led by volunteers and will see the both locks 15 and 16 brought back into working use for the first time in around 80 years.

It will also involve training volunteers in valuable conservation skills and laying the groundwork for the restoration of a further two locks – numbered 12 and 13.

The project has also received support from the not-for-profit business WREN, the Donald Forrester Trust, the family of Alan Applewhite, and Michael Worth on behalf of the Waynflete Charitable Trust.


Local firm Newark Concrete is supplying the ready-mix concrete after being approached by staff at Tarmac’s Barnstone Works.