Industrial Islington

Exhibition Panel 5 - City Road Lock

View from a high building of the lock and area 1973

Above: City Road Lock, 1973 Below: City Road Lock, 1885

Line drawing of lock, with gates in the foreground

Old rather dilapidated buildings to side of towing path

Above:Water point alongside the lock in 1970. The former stables is now a cafe

Aerial view of basin area, the lock surrounded by modern buildings

Locks allow canals to change level, using the same operating system since they were built. Lock keepers worked twelve hour shifts when both lock chambers were in constant use. As commercial traffic declined, one chamber was made into a weir and the lock keeper job disappeared. City Road Lock had a forge and stables for a change of horse between the large inland ports at Paddington and Limehouse. The lock keeper’s cottage on the opposite bank was replaced in the 1950s by three houses for British Waterways’ workers next to Anderson’s Timber Merchants.

Lock gates with industrial building to the left of the lock

Above: City Road Lock from the west, around 1900 Note the huge timber yard and unloaded barges behind the lock keeper. Both lock chambers were in operation allowing boats to go in both directions at the same time.

City road lock from the east with glass and steel modern building to the left

Above: City Road Lock from the east, 2019

Below: The Angel Canal Festival is an annual event around the lock. Musical entertainment on the lock-side in 2005

Musicians stand close to the edge on the lock side in colourful costumes.