Oxenhall – Restoration of the Spill Weir by Lock House

The reconstruction of the spill weir by Oxenhall Lock House proved to be quite a challenge and plans were changed as obstacles arose.

Before any work could start on the sump in front of the weir it was imperative that the flow of water through the culvert under the towpath was blocked enabling the work to be carried out in the dry.

After a number of attempts the volunteers eventually found the solution and were able to pump out the remaining water without the hole filling up again so the removal of the silt and a few old bricks began. Looking back at the old photos of the original restoration in 1995 clearly shows the state of the structure before we started then and also how many old bottles were retrieved that had presumably been dumped there by the residents of the cottage over the years.

With the hole cleaned out down to the base it has become clear that the whole structure was built with no foundations whatsoever for the surrounding walls and no solid base, not even some puddle clay, to keep the water in! It is not surprising that water was seeping through under the weir itself and therefore causing the brickwork to collapse so the work took considerably longer than was originally anticipated.

The work began in 2013 and months later the rebuilding of the spill weir was complete, thanks to a small team of dedicated volunteers. The water is once again running over it and down through the culvert under the cottage.