Top Lock has been rebuilt and new gates fitted because this lock is seen by the many visitors to the popular Canal Head picnic site. Before it can be used by boats a further three locks must be restored and several miles of the canal will require dredging. This picture of Top Lock is a few years old. Lock ladders have been installed and the locksides are now kept tidy. Canal Head is just beyond the lock gates. The restoration project was completed thanks to a successful bid for Local Heritage Initiative funding. and contributions in memory of two residents of Pocklington. These plaques are attached to the balance beams of the lock gates.
Satellite image of Top Lock, from Flash Earth (www.flashearth.com). The Lock House can be seen alongside the lock.
Some of the lock gates on the Pocklington Canal had balance beams made from railway lines, dating from when the canal was owned by a railway company. When new gates were installed at Cottingwith Lock in 2009 the balance beams were recovered and used to built a substantial seat, which was installed near Top Lock in December 2009.
Alongside Top Lock is the only lockhouse on the canal, and it is now a private house. Long after navigation ceased, lock-keepers continued to do some maintenance on the canal to maintain water flow and to keep the towpath open. The last lock-keeper was Henry Richardson, whose family continued to live here until the 1980s. By this time the lock-house was in poor condition and it continued to deteriorate when left empty. Vigorous opposition by PCAS prevented demolition of this important building. It has undergone substantial restoration and improvement. The two bricked-up windows in the upper storey are an interesting feature that has been retained, even though the window tax was repealed in 1851.