Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1750 - 1770
Canal lock associated with Cloondara Canal, first built c. 1760. Altered c. 1815. Retaining walls built of dressed limestone with cut limestone capstones/coping to lock chamber. Pairs of timber lock gates to either side having timber balance arms and timber footbridges, all with steel fittings. Located towards the west end of the Cloondara Canal (13307006) and to the northwest of Cloondara.
This lock is a significant element of the industrial and transport heritage of County Longford. The construction of the lock chamber using good quality limestone masonry attests to the grandiose ambitions of the canal company at the time. It was probably originally built/erected to designs by the canal engineer Thomas Omer for the Commissioners of Inland Navigation, c. 1760, but was probably altered at a later date(s). The Cloondara Canal (13307006), which this lock forms part of, was constructed with the intention of linking the River Shannon with the Camlin River and to facilitate trade in the area. Although not commercially successful, it is nonetheless a testament to mid-eighteenth-century entrepreneurial endeavour and engineering skills. It later formed part of the final section of navigable waterway that leads into the River Shannon from the Royal Canal, via the Camlin River and Richmond Harbour (13307014). It provided a link between Dublin and the Shannon for the transport of goods, before being superseded by the railways in the mid-nineteenth century. It forms part of an extensive group of canal-related structures at Cloondara, which together represents one of the more significant collections of its type in the country.