The Bingley Five Rise locks opened on 21st March 1774 and were one of the major engineering feats of their day. When the locks and therefore the canal from Gargrave to Thackley opened, a crowd of 30,000 people turned out to celebrate.- John Benson, Canal & River Trust Archivist
Most canal locks simply consist of a bottom lock and a top lock – with boats being transferred from one to the other. The Bingley Five Rise, however, as the name suggests, is a stunning staircase lock consisting of five connected locks – the highlight of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
With a staircase lock, the locks lead directly from one to the other – with the top of each lock forming the bottom of the next. The Bingley Five Rise uses this method to transport boats a total of 60 feet upwards. Although the locks take about half an hour to navigate in total, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a friendly lock-keeper in charge of the gates, saving you having to do them all manually!
Designed by John Longbotham from Halifax and built by local Stonemasons, the Bingley Five Rise was hailed as an 18th century engineering masterpiece. To convey just how well it was built – the very first boat to use it took 28 minutes in total, almost exactly what it still takes today!
5 things to do nearby
East Riddlesden Hall - This former 17th century home of a cloth merchant now contains a wide range of historic needlework.
Bronte Parsonage Museum - Step back into Bronte history in this impressive museum.
Cartwright Hall - This superb art gallery and impressive gardens make for a great day out.
Roberts Park - This park is the perfect spot for a summer walk.
Shipley Glen Cable Tramway - Still running since 1895, take a trip on Great Britain's oldest working cable tramway.