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ditchcrawler

Tilstone round houses

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We have just been from Barbridge down towards Chester, we didn't get far. However there are some interesting round brick huts beside some of the locks. Now I would assume (dangerous) that the lock keeper would live in the house beside the lock so why would he need a hut. Today I did some Googling and came up with the name Linkman. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1330293

So what does the team think?

 

 

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Would this have been a location where boats were guaged? A lot of little bothy type buildings around the system seem to have been shelters for the guager.

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As boats on the SUC worked day and night, there would have been a need for a second lock keeper, hence the need for a hut and lock house.

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4 hours ago, Pluto said:

As boats on the SUC worked day and night, there would have been a need for a second lock keeper, hence the need for a hut and lock house.

Always understood they were to do with the Fly boating, but do't know the actual use, also at that time SUC had inspectors( mobile on horse back) to check on the( horses /boats as they belonged to the company for ill treatment /damage) & could have possibly been shelter ,for paper work /food /drink preparation & place to use for meals etc.for the mobile staff

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3 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Do you think the people who listed them got it wrong when they called them Linksmen and it should have been lengths men?

 

I think it is a possibility, the word was in use only a little earlier. A linksman was someone you could hire to accompany you for short journeys by foot before regular street lighting. 

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5 minutes ago, frahkn said:

 

I think it is a possibility, the word was in use only a little earlier. A linksman was someone you could hire to accompany you for short journeys by foot before regular street lighting. 

In that case maybe they were the same as Hobblers to assist the boats up the locks when they were horsedrawn

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Such huts would have been useful for the boats carrying explosives from Ellesmere Port for the coal mines in the Black Country. Charlie Atkins told me he used to work on this traffic, and they were not allowed to have a fire on-board. However, it was expected that any company official would let a boatman use their house or office fire for cooking or making tea. As the boats worked non-stop, a hut with a fire would have been a welcome sight at night.

  • Greenie 1

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Alf Roberts book on Shroppie fly-boating might help.  I admit I cannot recall anything specific, but will look later if I get chance.

 

N

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59 minutes ago, BEngo said:

Alf Roberts book on Shroppie fly-boating might help.  I admit I cannot recall anything specific, but will look later if I get chance.

 

N

I dont recall reading anything in there. I like Pluto's explanation best

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13 hours ago, BEngo said:

Alf Roberts book on Shroppie fly-boating might help.  I admit I cannot recall anything specific, but will look later if I get chance.

 

N

(It was Jack, not Alf - I published it!)  I've always assumed that the Tilstone building was built for the same purposes as other lock hovels - shelter for maintenance people and lock-keepers.  There are other examples, though not so attractive, at Audlem locks 4 and 15.  The buildings had stoves, for comfort and boiling water/cooking purposes, but were very small.  At Audlem, there were lock cottages at locks 1, 8 and 13 (those at 1 and 13 still exist, though that at 1 has recently been rebuilt such that Telford would turn in his grave), so cover from the elements was available throughout the flight.  Other locks on the Shroppie had cottages or hovels.  The point to bear in mind though, was that the section of canal containing Tilstone was the Chester Canal, which opened nearly 60 years before the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction from Wolverhampton to Nantwich - hence perhaps the different architectural style. 

 

Fly-boats did operate 24 hours a day, but didn't need lock-keepers to help them through; they usually had a crew of four (two on duty, and two "sleepers", who'd be called out for lock flights).

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14 hours ago, Hastings said:

  (those at 1 and 13 still exist, though that at 1 has recently been rebuilt such that Telford would turn in his grave),

 

 

Passed there today, I dont like the look of the cottage but I do wonder if it is just a wooden construction  on the top which could of course be removed. I suppose it depend if you happen to be the family that live there and want more space.

 

In her defence she does make lovely cakes.

 

 

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Did they ever have windows or is the bricked up opening just for effect?

 

I've never really researched the function of these but understood they were short term (as in working day) accommodation - in the days before cars and vans somewhere to store tools and shelter from the elements in breaks would have been very useful

 

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A complete guess, but with a lintel in place I would suggest they were at one time with windows. But as with many things, when little used, or their original use abandoned for whatever reason, bricking up the windows would prevent opportunist theft of any equipment within.

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2 hours ago, Derek R. said:

A complete guess, but with a lintel in place I would suggest they were at one time with windows. But as with many things, when little used, or their original use abandoned for whatever reason, bricking up the windows would prevent opportunist theft of any equipment within.

It does say windows on the listing not brick recesses 

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Yes the lintel indicates a window and there is another above the door,

 

There is also the question of age. This structure is on the original length of the Chester Canal, So was it built for the Chester Canal, Ellesmere & Chester or Shropshire Union. The style of architecture would suggest earlier rather than later.

\

 

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