Categories of Special Interest
Lock keeper's house
In Use As
1810 - 1820
Detached three-bay single-storey lock keeper's house, built 1815, with single-storey lean-to extension to north and central projecting porch to main elevation (east). Now in use as a private house. Hipped artificial slate roof with central rendered chimneystack and cut stone eaves course. Roughcast rendered finish over roughly dressed squared limestone rubble walls. Square-headed window openings, set in recessed segmental-headed arches, with cut stone sills and having timber casement windows. Central square-headed doorway to projecting porch. Located adjacent to lock 42 (13401818) and to the north of Ards Bridge (13401817).
Though extended to the rear and having a recent entrance porch to the front elevation, this lock keeper's cottage retains its overall original form. The modest form of this building is enhanced by the recessed arches containing the openings, which helps to give this appealing structure a formal architectural quality. Blind recessed arches were commonly employed as architectural motifs in canal architecture, particularly in the lock keeper's houses of canal architect Thomas Omer. The quality of the construction is indicative of the grandiose ambitions of the Directors General of Inland Navigation (who took over responsibility for the Royal Canal following the dissolution of the Royal Canal Company in 1813) during the early part of the nineteenth century. Constructed by a single authority, it is not surprising that lock keeper's houses along the Royal Canal follow a standard plan. This cottage is sited alongside the Royal Canal to the north of Ards Bridge (13401817), beside the associated 42nd lock (13401818). This group of canal structures s an important reminder of the optimism and industriousness of the canal building era prior to the demise of this transport system in the mid-to-late nineteenth century.