Waltham Common Lock was the original name from the first survey in 1792 until 1829 (except for a couple of years as Catlins Lock in 1826 and 1827). It then became Cheshunt Common Lock until 1868, when it reverted to Waltham Common.
On 21.6.1825, it was recorded that “The Surveyor do prepare a House to be erected in Cheshunt Marsh Lock on Wheels” (NA Rail 845/9)
A look under the western end of the bridge over the tail will reveal an iron bar – one of the relics of the horse drawn boat era. This was used to transfer the towing rope under the bridge by means of a chain-operated sliding hook on which the rope was placed.
The new house was actually authorised on 26.10.1877, “ to be built here on the site of the old one.” (NA Rail 845/21) but on 20.4.1883, the old lock house was insured for £100 (NA Rail 845/23)
On 7.9.1894, William Pollitt's tender of £290 to build the lock house was accepted. (NA Rail 845/27). The new house was finally built by 1895, although the plaque on the house shows 1892. . The plans were also later used to build the new house at Stanstead Lock
LMA ACC 2423/P044
Daniel Ward, Lock keeper at
Waltham Common Lock from
Waltham Common Lock c1920
In 1922, the lock was rebuilt to the 16' standard. The site plan is below.
LMA ACC 2423/P1892
The Waltham Cut and the Powdermill Cut
Having finished his work on the cut from King’s Weir (and the Homerton Cut further south), the Trustees contracted Jeremiah Illsley on 11th February 1769 to build the “Cutts or Canals intended to be made from Waltham to Enfield Mill Tail Stream and as much of the intended widening of Enfield Mill Stream as can be dugg by the yard and make the banks thereof round and hansome and finish the same…..for the same price of threepence a yard” (NA Rail 845/4)
The building of the Powdermill Stream and Edmonsey Lock connecting to the Royal Gunpowder Mills was authorised with the following entry in the Minutes:
3.7.1805 “At this meeting Application is made from Government for permission to make a Cut from the Powder Mills at Waltham Abbey into the Navigation below Waltham Common Lock….It is resolved that Permission be granted subject to the following Terms and Conditions, vizt That the Earth to be taken thereout be carried away or so spread that flood waters be not interrupted thereby. That a double pair of Stop Gates be made to communicate with the Navigation so as to prevent fflood Waters flowing into the Navigation and the Water therein from being drawn or flowing out of the same.” (NA Rail 845/8)
Waltham Common Lock
This site was last updated 03-Mar-2021