A look at Fourteen Locks

A look at Fourteen Locks


Posted 8th Feb 2018


In the first of our History of the Waterways features, courtesy of Insure4Boats and the Canal and River Trust, we find out about Fourteen Locks

Commonly recognised as one of the cleverest pieces of canal engineering in the country, Fourteen Locks was created by engineer Thomas Dadford Jr. in 1799 as a way of dropping the canal level 169 feet in only a half-mile stretch.

As a result of how it was created, Fourteen Locks is one of the steepest series of locks in the UK. They were used to transport coal and iron from the Welsh valleys down to Newport, along with other goods including potatoes and wood.

In the 1920s and 30s, the introduction of the railways resulted in much of the canal being useless, and it subsequently fell into disrepair. However, funding from a Millennium project meant the Canals Trust and Newport Council were able to clean and restore most of the locks.

Did you know...

- Because Newport didn't charge coal duty, Newport had a coal export that were four times bigger than the whole of Cardiff during the 1790's.

- Lock 11 of 14 is thought to have been built after the rest, but no-one knows what it was used for - this is where it gets its name, the Mystery Lock.

- The Cefn Flight is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Information and images courtesy of Insure4Boats and the Canal and River Trust





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