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PAPER MILL LOCK                       6-09-2016              

I've always wondered how a lock works.

This very ingenious method allows different heights of water to be gently adjusted so that a boat can continue to move down the canal. Think of it as trying to go over a waterfall. So, water is held back by the gates and then allowed to drain on the other side until the water reaches the same level ahead where the boat is going. After the boat has gone through, the gates can be closed and the water re-adjusted.

 

This is Paper Mill Lock, Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation to the coast. It has 12 locks and 6 bridges which date from the 1790s. It enabled goods, mostly coal, bricks and timber, to be carried by barge instead of horse drawn wagons from the sea to Chelmsford. The old millstream leading off to the left creates two islands. Two mills stood on the lower island. One ground mica for paper making and the other corn. The small red building you see in some of the pictures is a bothy. There were banks where barges could dock over night. Today the canal is used for pleasure boating.

The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation is the canalisation of the Rivers Chelmer and Blackwater in Essex, in the east of England. The navigation runs for 13.75 Miles (22.13 km) from Springfield Basin in Chelmsford to the sea lock at Heybridge Basin near Maldon.