aka Caen Hill Locks
|An impressive flight to locks that can be
Caen Hill Locks
Kennet and Avon
at Devizes is a flight of 29 locks, 16 of which form an impressively steep flight in a straight
line up the hillside. Normally you would find water pours between locks in a
flight, but here the gradient is too step and they have an unusual method to
deal with the water storage needs, in that they have a whole series of ponds
formed with embankments next to the canal, one pond per level.
The 29 locks have a rise of 237
feet (72m) over 2 miles (3.2km). The locks are in three groups, 7
lower ones spread over 1.2km, 16 locks in a single flight, and 6 more to take
the canal into Devizes.
This was the last section of the 87 mile long
Kennet and Avon Canal to be completed, before these were in place there was a
tram road link, some remains of which can be seen in the tow path. Between
1829-42 they were lit by gas lights at night, useful as it took 5 to 6 hours
to get through all these locks.
After the developments of the railways canals
started to lose traffic, and this canal was bought by a railway company who
raised fees sufficiently to drive over most of the remaining traffic to the
railway. The canal fell into disuse, although sections were used for fishing.
From the 1960's restoration has been going on and by the mid 80's the canals were
open again, being officially reopened by the Queen in 1990. Water supply
problems became a problem as the canal became more popular. In 1996 a new
pump was added that could back pump 32 million litres of water a day from the bottom to
the top of the flight, the equivalent of a lock full in 11 minutes.
Devizes Locks Gallery
for loads more pictures
Photographing the main flight of locks can be
achieved from the side of the canal or from a road bridge that crosses the
canal. Most of the published photos that you see are taken from the road bridge.
There is access from the towpath onto the road at this point. About three
quarters the way up the main flight of locks and across the canal is a cafe.
There is quite a lot of wildlife, particularly
in the side ponds that are on the opposite side to the towpath, and I have on
visits here got quite a lot of decent wildlife photos including close ups on one
occasion of a heron.
See our Gallery for more quality pictures of this
location, it's wildlife and attractions.
Location: Devizes Locks, Caen Hill,
Multimap closer OS larger scale map
Getting there: Located just to the north of
the A361, just over a mile west of Devizes.
Other Useful Websites:
Caen Hill Locks, Rowde,
Devizes, Wiltshire or
Caen Hill Locks,
Avon Road, Devizes, Wiltshire
Telephone: 01452 318000
Opening Times: Open at all times
Other Location Pages:
Devizes Locks Gallery
Crofton Pump House
Other Relevant Pages:
Lock Flights and
Canals in England
Non Navigable and Lost Canals
Further information - canals
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