Tardebigge Locks or the Tardebigge Flight is the longest flight of locks in the UK, comprising 30 narrow locks on a 2+1/4mi stretch of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Tardebigge, Worcestershire. It raises the waterway 220ft, and lies between the Tardebigge tunnel (580yd long) to the North and the Stoke Prior flight of six narrow locks to the South. The Tardebigge Engine House is also on this stretch.HistoryThe top lock has a rise of eleven feet, unusually high for a single lock. This lock was built to replace an experimental vertical boat lift. The canal had been constructed and open from Birmingham to the wharf (now known as the Old Wharf) north of Brockhill Lane bridge by 30 March 1807 without the need for locks.After the Old Wharf, the Tardebigge tunnel runs through the solid rock to the New Wharf, just above Lock 58, the topmost lock in the flight. The canal company was concerned with the expense of the 58 locks needed to take the canal down to the River Severn at Worcester.The Tardebigge vertical lift was invented by John Woodhouse and installed at his own expense, with excavation and masonry provided by the company. Finished on 24 June 1808, it was housed in a covered shed and used a fixed counterweight of bricks, connected by a set of eight parallel chains and pulleys. Lifting was performed by two men using a windlass. The 64-ton wooden caisson (lifting chamber) was sealed at each end by guillotine gates, as was the lock chamber. It succeeded in lifting 110 boats in 12 hours but was considered too fragile for permanent use. The remainder of the canal was built with locks, and the lift was replaced by one in 1815. The lift mechanism has gone but the outline of its balancing pit may be seen near the lock keeper's cottage.Plan my trip to Bromsgrove with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.
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Tylers Lock Reviews
Have recently done the locks both on foot and on bike, towpaths in general are in good condition a little rocky in places for cycling but generally good, it's really nice to see boaters navigating the... more »
We took on the Tardebigge flight twice in one week (on the first and last days of our canal holiday). It's a 5 hour undertaking but satisfying, very scenic and well worth the effort. It felt like an a... more »
I've taken this route down the canal many times with family, friends or on my own. It's a peaceful walk and generally the people that you will pass are friendly as you walk through the Worcestershire ... more »
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