A Visit To The Bratch Locks 10th September 2009.

The Bratch rise of locks on the Staffordshire-Worcestershire canal at Wombourne near Wolverhampton looks like a staircase of three locks but is in fact three locks separated by very short pounds.(A pound in canal terms is a length of canal between consecutive locks.) These locks use an ingenious method of conserving water by using two side ponds to collect and reuse the water from the top, middle and bottom locks.

The Bratch Locks
The view looking up the locks from the bottom lock to the middle lock and beyond the attractive red brick toll booth to the top lock.

 

The pound above the top lock.
The canal pound above the top lock.

 

Narrowboat about to enter the top lock
A narrowboat approaching the entrance of the top lock.

 

Boat entering the top lock
Narrowboat entering the top lock.

 

Opening the paddles on the yop lock bottom gates
Opening the top lock bottom gate paddles to allow the water level to drop down to the level of the first short pound and hence the middle lock.

 

Lock keepers cottage and top lock gate
The lock keepers cottage and top lock gate plus that sinking feeling as the boat descends.

 

Pound between middle and bottom locks
This is a view of the very short canal pound between the middle lock bottom gates and the bottom lock top gate.

 

The very short pound.
The short pound.

 

A closeup of the short pound
This shows how short the pound is.

 

Toll house
The Toll house by the top lock.

 

Another view of the Toll House
The bridge and the toll house that looks down on the middle lock.

 

Looking down on the middle lock top gate.
Looking down on the pound and the middle lock top gate.

 

The side pond that stores the water that is drained from the top lock.
The side pond that stores the water that is drained from the top lock.

 

Narrowboat entering the middle lock.
Narrowboat entering the middle lock.

 

View of the middle lock from the bridge by the Toll House.
View of the middle lock from the bridge by the Toll House.

 

Narrowboat in the middle lock.
Narrowboat in the middle lock.

 

Lower side pond
The lower side pond.

 

Water entering the lower side pond.
Water entering the lower side pond.

 

Another view of the lower side pond.
Another view of the lower side pond.

 

Overflow weir of lower side pond.
Overflow weir of the lower side pond. The overflow drains into the canal below the lower lock.

 

Water take off point of lower side pond.
Water take off point of lower side pond. Note water level has dropped below level of the weir as shown in left of picture.

 

Lower canal pound.
Lower canal pound.

 

The bottom lock bottom gates and the raillings of the road bridge across the canal just below the bottom lock.
The bottom lock bottom gates and the railings of the road bridge across the canal just below the bottom lock.

 

Looking down on the lower pound from the road bridge over the canal.
Looking down on the lower pound from the road bridge over the canal.

 

Another view of the Bratch top lock now empty and at its lower water level.
Another view of the Bratch top lock now empty and at its lower water level. Note the masonary cill under the top gate.

 

The top lock now being filled in readiness for another boat to go down through the locks.
The top lock now being filled in readiness for another boat to go down through the locks.

 

Another narrowboat entering the lock.
Another narrowboat entering the lock.

 

Another view of the boat entering the lock.
Another view of the boat entering the lock.

 

The middle lock being filled.
The middle lock being filled.

 

The boat in the middle lock.
The boat in the middle lock.

 

The water level of the middle lock just beginning to drop on it's way down to the level of the bottom lock.
The water level of the middle lock just beginning to drop on it's way down to the level of the bottom lock.

 

The nearby Bratch pumping station.
The nearby Bratch Pumping Station.

 

A close up of the plaque on the building.
A close up of the plaque on the building.

 

The rear view of the building. Shame about the ugly metal contraption beside it.
The rear view of the building. Shame about the ugly metal contraption beside it.

 

The complete rear view.
The complete rear view.

 

Side view.
Side view.

All pictures copyright www.willysnapit.co.uk 2003-2017.

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