The Old Moorings Back In The 1970's

Different types of Lock

There are many different types of locks on the British waterways. Can you recognize any of them and which one do you think we are?


Single lock is the most basic type of lock that there is. It is quicker and simpler than any other lock and is able to lift a boat from one level of water to another while remaining economical in its water usage.


Broad locks are almost identical to the single locks described above but instead of being able to move one boat at a time, this lock is capable of moving two narrow boats side by side, or a single wide boat.


The introduction of double locks to the canal system meant that it was far quicker for a boat to pass through a lock and helped avoid delays. The lock once again allows two narrow boats to pass through at once therefore reducing water consumption.


The stop lock was used to completely remove the flow of water from one canal to another. These where put into place to stop canals from taking large quantities of water from other canals. The majority of these stops have now been removed due to the canals now being owned by the Canal Trust, so this no longer an issue.

Guillotine locks

This lock behaves in the way you would think with its name. The lock is raised above the lock into the air, which then allows the boats to pass through the lock safely. The lock is then once again lowered back into the water to block off the flow of water. They were often used when space was short, as the lock only has to be lifted rather than swinging open.

There are very few of these types of lock left within the UK and they tend to be found on rivers rather than canals.

Staircase locks and flights

Staircase locks were created to deal with steep gradients that any canal comes across. The staircase design allows the boats to move up and down a steep gradient easily.

Each lock in a staircase is open part of several. The bottom gate is often the top gate from the previous lock and the top gate is often the bottom gate for the next lock. Therefore creating a continuous flow of locks.

If you haven’t guessed already at Torksey locks we are a double lock! So we are capable moving two narrow boats or a single wide boat at a time through our lock