Categories of Special Interest
Lock keeper's house
1810 - 1820
Detached three-bay single-storey lock keeper's house, built c. 1815. Now derelict. Hipped natural slate roof with central rendered chimneystack (now obscured by ivy), with cut stone eaves course and the remains of cast-iron rainwater goods. Painted pebbledashed walls over smooth rendered plinth. Roughcast rendered walls, render now failing and exposing squared rubble stone construction. Square-headed window openings, set in recessed segmental-headed arches with brick voussoirs to arch, with cut stone sills and remains of six-over-six timber sliding sash windows. Central square-headed doorway to main elevation (north), set in recessed segmental-headed arch with brick reveals, having remains of battened timber door. Located adjacent to lock 39 (13402342) and Draper’s Bridge (13402341), and to the west of Abbeyshrule. Single-storey outbuilding adjacent to the east, now overgrown. Rubble limestone boundary walls to site.
Although now out of use and sadly derelict, this lock keeper's cottage retains its overall original form, character and much of its fabric. 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 lock keeper’s house forms part of a group of related structures along with the associated lock (13402342) and Draper’s Bridge (13402341) to the northwest, and is 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.