The Peterborough Lift Lock was built between 1896 and 1904, in an era when the strength of men, horse and steam power was shaping the transportation system of a growing nation.
The prospect of a completed Trent Valley Canal had gripped the imagination of residents for decades. But it was the concrete monolith slowly emerging from the excavation on Armour Hill that captured the attention of Peterborough visitors and residents alike.
To establish the foundations, 58,100 cubic metres (76,000 cubic yards) of sand, soil and gravel were excavated until the limestone bedrock was reached 12.2 metres (75 feet) into the rock. A foundation of granite blocks, some weighing over ten tonnes, was lowered to the bottom to provide a footing for the rams.
Then the intricate and labourious concrete work began.
In its day, the lift lock was one of the world's largest concrete structures. When completed, over 19,879 cubic metres (26,000 cubic yards) of concrete had been poured-without a single piece of reinforcing steel. The use of reinforcing steel was only just beginning, and the technique was still viewed with professional skepticism.
The engineer that designed this work of beauty was Richard B. Rogers and is my wife’s great, great, grandfather. Locate the commemorative plaque on the lock and send me an email with who placed the plaque there. You could also submit a picture of the plaque with your gps in it, but please blur out the answer to the question. There is also a second plaque at the visitors centre you can visit.