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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 854968

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NH64NW 28.00 64472 46734

Sea Lock [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1985.

NH64NW 28.01 NH 64463 46718 Lockeeper's Cottage

NH64NW 28.02 NH 64401 46737 South Pier

NH64NW 28.03 NH 64426 46733 South Beacon ('Clachnaharry 1')

NH64NW 28.04 NH 64445 46765 North Pier

NH64NW 28.05 NH c. 64459 46758 North Beacon ('Clachnaharry 2')

NH64NW 28.06 NH 64440 46728 Capstan

NH64NW 28.07 NH 6444 4672 Stop winch and ropesaves

For associated canal basin (adjacent to SE), see NH64NW 30.03.

For associated canal offices (NH 64943 46439) and Telford commemorative plaque, see NH64NW 86.

Not to be confused with Inverness Harbour (centred NH 664 462: at mouth of River Ness), for which see NH64NE 129.00.

Location formerly entered as NH 6447 4674.

During the construction of this lock in 1810-11 it was decided that oak from North Wales should be used for the gates. These gates were replaced between 1890 and 1906 by new ones constructed from oak and steel. By the mid-twenthieth century the lock had been mechanized.

J Lindsay 1968.

The creation of this lock and the adjacent basin (NH64NW 30.03) constituted a major achievement by the canal builders. As there was a stretch of soft mud at the edge of the Beauly Firth, it was necessary to build up two enormous parallel embankments stretching out 400 yards into the firth in order to reach deep water. These embankments, resting on a base of quarry waste, were used for digging out this sea-lock. Hand pumps proved inadequate for keeping out the sea at one stage, but the use of six horses or the more expensive equivalent power in a steam pump, kept the problem at bay until the lock had been completed. It is essential to keep constant vigilance and undertake timely repairs, such as those carried out on the foreworks in the 1920s.

G Hutton 1992.

The two pairs of lock gates are built from Welsh oak, being resistant to salt water. The gates were designed by Thomas Rhodes.

J Gifford 1992.

During March 1999, RCAHMS conducted a photographic survey of the standing industrial heritage relating to the swing bridges, canal locks over the Caledonian Canal and the nearby railway architecture in Inverness, Clachnaharry and environs. The purpose of this survey was to enhance and augment the existing holdings of the National Monuments Record Scotland.

Visited by RCAHMS (MKO), September 1997.

The origin and functions of Inverness Harbour (NH64NE 129.00) cannot, however, be considered in dissociation from fresh factors introduced by the construction of the terminal section of the Caledonian Canal (NH64NW 30.00 and NH64NE 120.00: LIN 19). The Canal was authorised by Parliament in 1803, and was begun under T Telford as principal engineer with W Jessup as consultant. The terminal works consisted of a sea-lock (NH64NW 28.00) at Clashnaharry [Clachnaharry], giving access to a lower basin (NH64NW 30.03), and from this a second lock (NH64NW 30.02) led into Muirtown basin (NH64NE 120.00), which is shown on the plan published by the Harbour Commissioners as measuring about 900yds (822.6m) in length by up to 200yds (183m) in breadth. It was intended primarily to serve the Inverness trade, and the New Statistical Account notes that ships too large to negotiate the estuary were worked from the Canal's wharves. The basin was almost completed by 1807, but difficulties encountered in the building of the sealock delayed progress until 1811, and the canal as a whole was not opened until 1822. Large scale repairs became necessary in 1843, and the waterway was finally reopened only in 1847.

A Graham and J Gordon 1998.

Caledonian Canal; sea lock and lock keeper's cottage.

CFA/MORA Coastal Assessment Survey 1998.

This feature is clearly marked as Sea Lock on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire 1874, sheet iv), on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire 1907, sheet iv), on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1985) and on the OS Basic Scale raster map (ND).

Information from RCAHMS (MD) 4 October 2001.

Together with the adjacent basin (NH64NW 30.03), this lock forms the NE extremity of the Caledonian Canal, providing access from and egress to the Moray Firth.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 31 March 2006.

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