Explore Hanwell Locks

Guided tour 3

Traditional square wooden paddle post, about two feet high

Alongside Lock 95, the next one down, is a traditional wooden paddle post. This is for the control of a ground paddle. The lock is filled through this sluice, controlled by this paddle, and emptied when required at the other end.

Notice the most handsome lock house beside the lock

A ramp made of cobbles leads down into water

This picture, above, shows a horse slip. "Slip" is an old word, meaning a slope down into something (think of a slip road on the motorway, a slipway into the sea) and we use the term on the canals for the ramps, like this, used to provide a way for horses to be walked out of the water if they fell in. Horses sometimes did fall in due to accidents when pulling barges and it was very difficult to get them out! There are other horse slips in central London and elsewhere on the canal network.

A canal is seen dry, with workers in it clearing things, large walll to the right

Above is a picture taken from an archive postcard of maintenance work being carried out at Hanwell Locks. The caption suggests that the locks were drained once each year for accumulated rumbbish to be removed. It would be good news if that tradition could be resumed today!

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