The past fifteen years Grantham Canal Society has restored a series of four locks at Woolsthorpe by Belvoir. At the Woolsthorpe Wharf Carpenter’s Shop the society’s office is located. The Dirty Duck Pub serves drinks and meals.

From Woolsthorpe Bridge you enjoy a beautiful view downstream on Carpenter’s Lock (lock 16) and even further Woolsthorpe Middle Lock (lock 15). Close by, upstream is Willis’s Lock (lock 17).

Carpenter’s Lock (lock 16) – Left: 1986
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Carpenter's Lock - Now
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Carpenter's Lock - Now
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Carpenter's Lock - Now
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Carpenter's Lock - Then
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Carpenter's Lock - Then

Willis’s Lock (lock 17) – Left: ca 1985 – Picture Vaughan Hardy
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Willis's Lock - Now
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Willis's Lock - Now
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Willis's Lock - Now
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Willis's Lock - Then
Grantham Canal - Woolsthorpe by Belvoir - Willis's Lock - Then

Also two bridges were restored. One, bridge number 63, Casthorpe Horse Bridge, was a narrow, beautifully arched bridge built of mellow Woolsthorpe brick. But unfortunately, at some time in the past, someone knocked it down – and put an ugly concrete slab of a bridge in its place.

With funding from the Derelict land Grant, not only locks 16, 17 and 18 were restored, but also Casthorpe Bridle Bridge was raised again. The new wooden bridle bridge was opened in August 1993. So the old black and white picture is not that old. Hardly anything changed since. The cracks in the brickwork are still there and the scrub on other side of the towpath is a bit more wild.

Casthorpe Bridle Bridge (bridge 63) – Left: End 1990s, begin 2000s
Grantham Canal - Casthorpe Bridle Bridge - Now
Grantham Canal - Casthorpe Bridle Bridge - Now
Grantham Canal - Casthorpe Bridle Bridge - Now
Grantham Canal - Casthorpe Bridle Bridge - Then
Grantham Canal - Casthorpe Bridle Bridge - Then

The Grantham Canal runs for 33 miles (53 km) from Grantham through 18 locks to West Bridgford/Nottingham, where it joins the River Trent. It was built primarily for the transportation of coal to Grantham. It opened in 1797 and its profitability steadily increased until 1841. It was then sold to a railway company, declined, and was finally closed in 1936. It was used as a water supply for agriculture, and so most of it remained in water after closure, although bridges were lowered. Since the 1970s, the Grantham Canal Society have been working to restore it.


Grantham Canal - Travel in Time is a project realised by new traces for the Grantham Canal Society.