Saturday, 9 July 2022

08 (Louth Canal Project). Alvingham.

 At Alvingham we see an example of how the locks were built and, although they are derelict, enough remains to give us an idea of their size and construction.   The Louth Navigation Canal skirts around the village of Alvingham but there are other things of interest to see before we reach it.

On approaching Alvingham there's an old AA sign on the end of this farm building.
A reminder of one of the reasons the canals in general fell into decline, as transporting
goods by road was considered more efficient. 

One of the tourist attractions at Alvingham is the watermill. 

Alvingham Mill, once open to the public but now a private residence.  The current owner
told me he intends to open it to the public again, if only on limited occasions.  This is not the 
canal however, but a stream running off it to power the mill.

A Muscovy duck that resides here. 

To reach the canal you must walk through the farmyard adjacent to the mill, it's a public footpath.

There's a church directly off the farmyard, one of two situated adjacent to each other, one is 
St. Mary's and the second is St. Adelwood.

This is the second church, in a more open area.

Following the footpath through both churches leads on to the footbridge over the canal.

Just a simple footbridge here and the canal can be seen approaching on the right.

Very overgrown and silted up but this is relatively clear compared to some stretches. 
Lots of Trout can be seen from the footbridge.  Fishing rights on the canal are held by
the Scunthorpe Angling Society.

Another view of the second church on our way back to the car.

It's a working farm so care is needed passing through here.

About a mile along from the churches the canal reaches a substantial system of locks. 

This lock, and the next one on our journey, (Ticklepenny Lock) are the deepest of the remaining
locks on the Louth canal system.  Made of brick and stone they  are really only missing their gates. 

This is where a gate would have been, the post for it is still set into the lock wall opposite.
The ironwork is intact on both sides.

The road bridge can be seen here, it would have been a swing bridge.

The construction of the lock is described as a "Barrel Lock", the sides are curved as can 
be seen here in the photo.  This used the same principles as arched bridges which made them
very strong to carry traffic over them.  I this case the curved sides resemble an arched bridge
turned through 90 degrees to hold back the force of the surrounding clay.

This shows the two levels, the original system of eight locks along the canal dropped the
water level by 46 feet.

The road bridge.

Taken from the bridge we get a view of the lock system.

A final, perhaps more picturesque view of the lock at Alvingham.

Olympus EM1 Mk2 + 12-40mm Pro lens. 


  1. What a wonderful post, David. I can't pick our a specific photo as a favourite, I like the mill, the church ... interesting about the Barrel Lock etc. I'll come back for another look later. We've been away for a week so lots to catch up on. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. All good wishes.

    1. Hi Mike, hope you enjoyed your break, thanks for commenting. 😊 πŸ• 🐒

  2. I certainly agree with Mike that this is a wonderful and informative post in every way. The details in each beautiful photo, the interesting facts and the rich history of the area all make for a delightful tour. This is certainly an area I would find fascinating and would like to explore. Your posts on the canal have really brought things to life. Thanks so much!

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying this project Ann, although I'm very familiar with the areas the canal runs through I've enjoyed re visiting it all & have found a few new things of interest. Thank you for your lovely comments. David. 😊 πŸ• 🐒

  3. Hello David, well this stretch of canal is very pretty and it is good to hear there is plenty of trout. 'Ticklepenny lock ' - what a great name :) Alvingham mill is very handsome. Great that the owner hopes to occasionally open it. How unusual to have two adjacent churches, both lovely looking. Fab photos, as always :) x

    1. I can't find out why the next lock is called Ticklepenny Lock, in my opinion it's the jewel in the crown of the Louth Navigation Canal. Thanks for your comments on this post Lulu, very much appreciated. πŸ˜ƒ

  4. Named after the Ticklepenny family who were lock keepers

  5. Thank you for that additional information