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Avon Lock, Tewkesbury

By Royal Charter of 1636, a rare example of a lock that is still a toll station between two separate river navigations - the Avon and the Severn.

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Avon Lock,

King John\'s Court,


GL20 6EG
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About Avon Lock, Tewkesbury

Avon Lock, owned and maintained by the Avon Navigation Trust (Registered Charity No. 244951) is located in the center of Tewkesbury; a Cotswold Market Town known for its history and heritage tourism. The Lock itself receives 1000's of visitors each year from leisure and commercial boaters, school groups, locals and tourists all interested to see industrial transport history still in use today.

It forms the junction between the Warwickshire Avon and the River Severn and is rare because it is at, not only a confluence of two rivers, but at a confluence of two navigation authorities. The River Avon remains one of only a handful of UK waterways still independently owned and it's been that way since King Charles I granted a charter to a private individual. Avon Lock was a toll station then and it remains one today.

The site is easily accessible by boat and on foot. It features as part of Tewkesbury's Riverside Walk, a new initiative guiding visitors around local attractions providing interpretation boards at key sites. The recently restored Village Green adjacent to Avon Lock is now a popular picnic site. For those who wish to "visit" the Lock from thecomfort of their own homes we have two, live feed webcams available to view as part of The Avon Navigation Trust's Riverwatch scheme.

Example of the webcam view:

Screen Shot 2019 06 13 at 20.46.49















There has been a lock on this site since the charter was granted in 1635, then followed a huge engineering project to install weirs, locks and river gates to develop the previously unnavigable river into a commercial transport enterprise.

Avon Lock is the gateway, flagship structure completing the trade route linking Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire with the River Severn to the Sharpness Docks and the sea. It still operates as a toll station nearly 400 years on.
In 1830 the river was leased to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal Company but the opening of rail links locally saw profits begin to fall with commercial transportation moving to the railways until the income was too small to cover the cost of engineering repairs and maintenance on the river. By 1930 the route was abandoned by all but one cargo vessel, the grain barge Pisgah, which continued to operate from Pershore Mill until 1972.

 This entry by Nicola Lancaster - lock keeper

Photo of lock from RodW    with thanks

Copyright © 2019 The Transport Trust. All rights reserved. The Transport Trust is a registered UK charity No. 280943 Registered address: First Floor, 26 Station Approach,Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey, KT10 0SR. Registered in England No. 1509733.