Enjoy fabulous Foxton Locks
The locks were designed by Benjamin Bevan.
Building work started on Foxton Locks in 1810 and finished in 1814.
Water in the locks is controlled by paddles - red paddles to fill the locks and white paddles to empty them.
In its heyday at busy times it could take five hours, or even longer, to get through Foxton Locks.
In 1900 the boat lift was built and the locks were allowed to fall into decline.
By the end of the 1900s the canal was in poor condition.
The development of rail transport saw a decline in canal traffic and the lift closed in 1911.
The increase of leisure traffic has seen the canals and Foxton Locks experience a new lease of life.
Foxton Locks is a fabulous family day out whatever the weather.
The whole family will enjoy a fun-packed visit to Foxton Locks, situated within a few miles of Market Harborough. Surrounded by Leicestershire’s beautiful countryside, you will experience all that this unique waterways landmark has to offer – colourful narrowboats, the famous flight of 10 locks and the new BoilerHouse virtual experiences.
Visitors to Foxton Locks can now experience the amazing inclined plane in a remarkable new way. At The BoilerHouse you can step back in time and see in breathtaking clarity how the boats travelled in the boat lift.
Using the very latest in digital technology you will also be able to stand alongside the inclined plane and use your smart phone or tablet device and see the boat lift magically appear in front of your very eyes. To make the most of your experience at Foxton look out for the exciting new app and website and be one of the first to experience what is set to become one of the most exciting new waterway attractions in the country.
Discover more at Foxton Locks
Foxton Locks is home to two amazing feats of engineering in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside.
The Grade II listed locks on the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal are over 200 years old. They demonstrate how 19th century canal engineers solved the problem of getting boats up and down a steep hill.
This impressive flight of ten locks are the longest set of staircase locks in Britain. It takes an average of 45 minutes for boats to travel the entire flight and on a busy day as many as 40 boats can make the trip. The lock keepers will be busy directing the traffic, making use of the passing pond in the middle of the flight.
Alongside the locks you can see the side ponds which provide reserves of water for the locks and prevent wastage.
These ponds are a haven for local wildlife, including ducks, heron and water vole.
To find out more about how the locks operate, make sure you pay a visit to The BoilerHouse.
Designed at a time when canals were the mass transport system for England it was to help improve the capacity of the canal network. The full story is told in The BoilerHouse.
Behind the BoilerHouse you will see the evidence of another amazing feat of engineering: A fine example of Grand Victorian industrial engineering – the inclined plane boat lift.
The locks and surrounding area are open and accessible to the public all year round. The network of footpaths and towpaths provide ideal walking and cycling opportunities with a choice of many routes.