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Cerney Wick Roundhouse and Lock is located a couple of
miles north of Cricklade.
A fall of only 6 feet makes this one of the shallowest on the T&S
Canal and it retains its full 90 ft length; there being no need to save
The lock keeper station here was moved to Wildmoorway Lower Lock to supervise
the operation of the side pond there and apparently orders were given to
pull the roundhouse down. Fortunately, this did not happen and, apart from
a few years of semi dereliction in the 1960s, it has remained a dwelling.
Cerney Wick Lock has a circular overflow weir. What remains is really
the central drop chamber and the outer wall is missing. When the lock was
being restored in the early 1980s, there was no sign of this overflow weir
at all. By a process of elimination, it became apparent that it had to be
located under a coal bunker near the roundhouse. Permission was obtained
from the owner to move the coal bunker and investigations began. Under the
coal bunker was a large concrete pad and this was progressively demolished
until it suddenly disappeared into the ground having fallen into the weir
shaft. The concrete was then broken up and removed.
In the slop at the bottom of the shaft was a collection of broken pottery,
cutlery and sundry other items.
In order to create a functional weir, most of the inner ring of the original
weir was raised and the segment nearest the inlet tunnel was lowered but
with the provision to raise the level in the future.
The upper wing walls were smashed with hardly a single intact brick.
Locals reported that a W.W.II bomb had exploded near the head of the lock
and that this had caused the damage (as well as blowing off part of the roof
of The Crown several hundred yards away. The blast bounced off the roundhouse,
which was very close, causing almost no damage. An unexplained dip in the
offside canal bank (which made its presence known when the canal was rewatered
for the first time in decades) was the probable site of the crater.
The lock itself has
had extensive repairs carried out to it. On the towpath side, the
outer 9" of brickwork had parted company with the structural wall behind
and had to be rebuilt. This was done reusing the same bricks with plenty
of tying between the front wall and concrete infill and between the
concrete infill and the wall behind. The very substantial back wall was
made of large rough cotswold stone and mortar with timber tie rods extending
out into the ground behind.
The offside wall had a few small brick patches but consisted of largely
original brickwork. The old brickwork had suffered from frost damage and
vegetation growth and was rebricked largely using new bricks.
The walls below the waterline were in near perfect condition as was
the invert which was curved and made of stone. The original lower sill is
still in place and in a remarkably good condition for its age (but probably
not good enough to re-use).
Following the restoration of the lock chamber, top paddles were installed
together with a recycled set of very old lock gates which were originally
from Sunbury Lock on the Thames. At the end of their life there, they were
taken for use on the Upper Avon in the early 1970s but were not used - now
very old, they then were moved to the T&S and down sized to fit Cerney