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Pond Lane Gates

Pond Lane gates

Pond Lane Lock was constructed in 1855-7 close to where Cow Bridge crosses the navigation today.  The scheme was designed by Nathanile Beardmore, Engineer to the River Lea Trustees (appointed 1853), with the assistance of Richard Carden Despard.

The works, which also included the reconstruction of Old Ford Locks and widening of the navigation, were partly funding by an agreement with the ELWC and New River Company for the surplus water to be taken by them on payment of a capital sum of £30,000 and annual rent of £3500. This arrangement was confirmed by Act of Parliament. (The River Lee Water Act 1855).

The 'stop gates' at Pond Lane were constructed in order to secure the long level from the effect of floods which accumulate to a serious extent at Lea Bridge with extreme rains or on the sudden breaking up of the frost. These gates also enabled the two miles of canal to be drawn through the Old  Ford Locks at any time without affecting the main river between Lea Bridge and Tottenham if the water were drawn off without closing these gates the main body of the river would be diverted through the canal.

The gates were 22 feet in width the cill being laid at the level of 7 feet 11 inches below the Lea Bridge head mark They were constructed in a similar manner to the Old Ford Locks the foundations being of blue lias concrete 2 feet in thickness resting on a bed of gravel which is there about 20 feet in thickness. The hollow quoins and pointing cill are also of cast iron but the latter forms merely a square nosing to a brick cill.

The lock originally comprised a single pair of gates with a second pair added, to form a pound lock, in 1863 when a lock house was also constructed.A bridge extended from Pond Lane (Millfields Road) across the canal and the Waterworks aqueduct into the Hackney Marshes. The second set of gates to be added were below this bridge.

Pond Lane gates were redundant by 1872 when the canal was thrown into one level from Old Ford to Tottenham. The lock was retained as a flood relief measure until their removal when Pond Lane Flood Gates were built with 'guillotine' like gates further upstream.

Future Conservation

Include within an extended Lea Bridge Conservation Area.


Lee and Stort (http://www.leeandstort.co.uk)

Paper by Richard Carden Despard recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of The Institution of Cicil Engineers. Charles Manby 1857-8 

The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal, Volume 21, 1858

John Marchant Clerk to The Trustees of the River Lea Navigation, Parliament Reports from Committees 26 May 1853.

© leabridge.org.uk December 2012