This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Post medieval sea lock at Bude Canal

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Post medieval sea lock at Bude Canal

List entry Number: 1005454


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Bude-Stratton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 20-Dec-1972

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: CO 912

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Inland navigation using rivers originated in Britain in the prehistoric period and continues in use to the present day. From the Roman period, both canals (artificial waterways constructed primarily for navigation purposes) and river navigations (improvements to existing waterways to make navigation easier) were constructed, and medieval canals such as the navigable dykes dug by the monks in Holderness or the Exeter Canal are known. Although the advantages of canals and inland waterways for the inexpensive and safe means of transporting heavy, bulky or fragile goods had long been recognised elsewhere in Europe, it was not until 1759 that the principal age of canal building began in England began, with the construction of the Bridgewater Canal from Worsley to Manchester. Canal construction also brought with it the requirement for a whole range of associated structures. Many of these, such as bridges, canal workers' houses, warehouses, wet docks, dry docks, locks and water management systems involved the modification and development of the existing designs of such structures to meet the new requirements of the Canal Age, which also introduced the need for major technological innovation in, amongst other things, the construction of tunnels and aqueducts, and the development of inclined planes and boat lifts. The great age of canals lasted until about the 1840s, when their utility was eroded by the huge expansion of railways with their quick and cheap transportation of people and goods. During their relatively brief period of use, however, canals became the most important method of industrial transportation, making a major contribution to England's Industrial Revolution. The post medieval sea lock at Bude Canal is of particular interest for its technical innovation in utilising the highest tides in order to effect the transportation of material inland.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a sea lock, situated at the north western end of the Bude Canal and to the south of Summerleaze Beach, where the canal meets the River Neet. The lock survives as a stone-built rectangular basin with a rounded seaward end with lock gates and hand winches. It was built in 1819. Although the timber gates are 20th century restorations, the winches are original. The inner gate was destroyed in a storm in 1904.

Designed by James Green, who worked under Rennie before being appointed as the Surveyor of Bridges and Buildings in Devon from 1818 - 1841, the canal originally linked Bude, Holsworthy and Launceston and was built between 1819 and 1825. It was constructed to convey sea sand inland for use as a manure to improve agricultural land. The sea lock, with a depth of approximately 4.5m at spring tides, allowed sea going vessels of up to 300 tons to dock in the basin where the cargoes were then transferred.

The sea lock is Listed Grade II* (64771).

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-31941

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SS 20394 06428


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1005454 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jun-2018 at 07:23:02.

End of official listing