BOVENEY LOCK

How is flow estimated?

* NOTE: Boveney Lock figures are not available online! The figures shown are on the assumption that the characteristics of the Bray - Boveney reach are the same as those of the Boulters - Bray reach

EA BRAY Downstream graph -
EA ROMNEY Upstream graph -


  Environment Agency Guide 2012-2013

1910: Boveney in Thames Villages by Charles Harper.

Boat rollers for small boats on Right bank of Lock. Tel: 01753 862764, length: 149'7", width: 17'10"
1201:  A fishery
1375:  Toll at BaddesbyesLoke
1535:  Lease of a “lock and weir of Boveney and Tyrryshaw”
1632:  John Taylor –

Near Boveney Church a dangerous stop is found
On which five passengers were lately drowned

1770:  Brindley’s Map – Gill’s Bucks
1780:  “Navigation very difficult owing to the sharp turns of the river”

1794: Report of a survey of the river Thames between Reading and Isleworth ... John Rennie (the Elder)

notwithstanding the water is tolerably deep from [Queen's Eyot] to opposite Boveney church, except at the entrance of the Clewer mill-stream yet the turning is so inconvenient, and the head of the Clewer mill-stream so dangerous, that I am much inclined to advise a cut being made from above the bucks across the point to Boveney church ; in this cut there would be a fall of nearly two feet, and the lower sill of the lock being laid deep enough, and the channel towards Gill’s fishing bucks scoured out and contracted, a very good navigation would be obtained from thence to the head of the South Hope.
The great deprivation of water the river suffers by the Clewer mill, is a serious injury to the navigation. It is a pity in a river on which so much trade is carried, mills should be suffered to exist, to the detriment of the navigation.
At the South Hope there are several serious obstacles; and they are of such a nature as render it difficult to give an opinion respecting the best mode of improvement.
From thence to the lower end of the Clewer mill-stream there are several shallows, where I found, even with a small flash which had just been let down, only three feet nine inches of water. These shallows might easily be removed; and it is probable, by a judicious contraction, they might be kept under; but the turnings are so acute, that the navigation is thereby rendered extremely difficult and dangerous.

1834:  “Tom Gill’s Bucks at Boveney Chapel”
1838:  Poundlock built -

Shut in for the first time on November 17 and the cut and poundlock opened at 11am by two downward boats, the Alert and the Ariel, and the Union and one of Mr. Parker’s Trows passing up.  All grounded at each end of the Cut, but by drawing and shutting the weir they all got off in about one hour.

1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall

BOVENEY LOCK
BOVENEY LOCK

Before we reach Windsor, however, we pass through Boveney Lock. There was a fishery here from a very early period; and it is recorded in the annals of Windsor that, in 1201, William, the son of Richard de Windsor, gave two marks to the king, in order that the pool and fishery in Boveney might he in the state it was wont to be during the reign of Henry II. The men of this, and all other villages near Windsor, were accustomed to give toll at Windsor of all their merchandize. When Eton College was building, Boveney and Maidenhead contributed their share of elm-tree wood for its construction. The village is still but a small group of cottages, retaining very primitive features.

1883: Boveney Lock, Henry Taunt -

Boveney Lock, Henry Taunt, 1883
Boveney Lock, Henry Taunt, 1883
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT04008

1886:  Armstrong – “A fall of little short of four feet”
1898:  Pound lock rebuilt next to old site.  Rollers built on old site of lock.
1913:  Weir rebuilt

1920:  Fred Thacker –

About Boveney Chapel the main current swings away from the Right bank down to the weir;  and in flood time a veritable maëlstrom is set up where the fierce stream encounters the dead water at the head of the lock cut.  In the high water at Whitsuntide in 1915 my skiff was violently twisted almost completely round against the bank at this point;  the situation is not improved by the huge blocks of cement in the bed of the river.  Bargemen regard the spot as one of the most unpleasant in the whole course of the Thames.

Note that when pulling a boat over the rollers - use a rope rather than pulling on the boat itself.  (The longer the rope used the better - because a long rope pulls the boat sideways less - and on rollers it is often difficult to pull from a central position.  Otherwise you can find most of your effort being used to keep the boat centred on the rollers.)

1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall

BOVENEY CHURCH
BOVENEY CHURCH

[ I wonder what the Victorian preacher is saying?
... and that, brethren, is why Mary has been made to sit at the back
... and if any of you can tell me who made that black mark pointing to the NO ADULTERY commandment beside the altar there, my housekeeper and I would like to hear from you.
]

Let us step ashore for a brief while, to visit yon "wee" church, half hidden among lofty trees: it is the Church of Boveney, and is the last of its class we shall encounter; for, although we may meet some more aged and many more picturesque, there will be none along the banks of the great river that so thoroughly represent the homely and unadorned fanes where the simple villagers have been taught to worship. It is very small, and of the most primitive construction, consisting of four walls merely, the chancel end being railed off by wood-work. The font is large and simple in character, and there are traces of early mediaeval work in the external walls; the pulpit is Elizabethan, but the open seats of oak may be much earlier; the roof is arched, but has originally been supported by open timber-work, — the cross-beams now alone remain.*
* The key of the church is one of those massive pieces of metal-work constructed when strength was BOVENEY CHURCH KEY believed to have been the chief security in locks. As a curious specimen of a bygone fashion, we append a cut of it; such securities are now rare. It is unnecessary to add that in "old times" keys were frequently subjected to elaborate ornamentation, often of a costly character, and exhibiting considerable proficiency in art.
We have engraved the interior as an example of one of our sacred edifices, where, through many ages, sate

The rude forefathers of the hamlet.

After inspecting the interior, and wondering why so small a church was ever built, we returned to the churchyard, and stood for some little time beneath the shadow of a glorious old tree, whose boughs and foliage formed a protection against rain or sunshine ...
[ a wonderfully sentimental Victorian sob story follows ... ]

Boveney Church, 2004
Boveney Church, 2004