* NOTE: Hambleden Lock and Temple Lock figures are not available online! The figures shown are on the assumption that the characteristics of the Hambleden - Hurley reach and the Hurley - Temple reach are the same as those of the Shiplake to Marsh reach.The High and Highest levels are guesses
Left bank lock, tel: 01628 824334, length: 130'8", width: 19'11"
1580: Bishop Newlock belonging to Mr. Bowde and
1628: Agreement between Sir Myles Hobarte of Harleyford and Lord Lovelace of Hurley regarding the repair of that portion of the weir called New Lock which was in the parish of Marlow.
1773: A Pound Lock was constructed
1774: A small wooden house for the keeper was built
1780: The pound lock works in very shattered condition
1783: The lock-shutter was in trouble for allowing the water to rise above high water mark, causing floods above; instructions were issued to pull up the sluices and floodgates of the bucks, the overfalls and watergates and standards of the old flash locks, whenever necessary"
1785: Poundlock reconstructed. Mr. Pengree, owner of the flashlock, was warned to have his tackle in good repair during this period, so that barges might pass over it without hindrance in the ancient fashion, if requisite.
1791: More poundlock repairs.
1794: Report of a survey of the river Thames between Reading and Isleworth ... John Rennie (the Elder)
The depth on the upper sill of Hurley Lock was five feet eight inches,
and on the lower sill five feet two inches.
I found a very good waste, or guage weir, adjoining the staunch,
which is the first good one I have seen on the river.
The gates of Hurley Lock are in very bad repair, and so is the brickwork; whenever this lock is repaired, it will be well to sink the lower sill somewhat deeper; but it is not much to complain of as it now is.
The tail cut for about 200 yards should be deepened three inches.
1825: It was decided to make the pound lock a close Pound like unto Hamelden. (It had open sides previously).
1888: John Scott, lock keeper, once told Fred
Thacker of the story of his little son, missing one day, and discovered
contentedly floating on his back in the millstream beside the lockhouse.
[ Throughout I have been resisting adding the appalling list of lock-keepers and others, drowned down the years. This story has a refreshing difference! ]
Hurley Lock, Henry Taunt -
Hurley Lock, Henry Taunt
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT2102
1885-95: Hurley Lock -
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; D250323a
1891: A boatslide was promised next year. It never came.
1886: A Shower Song, Hurley Lock, June, J Ashby-Sterry
Listen to 'My heart was light ...'
My heart was light and whole aboard
As I sculled swift by Harleyford
The rain began to patter
But when I saw in Hurley Lock
That Naiad in the gingham frock,
'Twas quite another matter !
The banks are soft with mud and slosh,
And shiny is each mackintosh,
Each hat and coat well soaken:
My spirits droop, and as I scan
That beauty in a trim randan,
I fear my heart is broken !
She hath a graceful little head,
Her lips are ripe and round and red,
Her teeth are short and pearly;
And on a rosy sun-kissed cheek
Her dimples play at hide-and-seek,
Within the lock at Hurley !
I strive to make a mental note,
The while she lounges in her boat
Beneath the big umbrella.
I wonder if she's Gwendoline,
Or Gillian or Geraldine,
Or Sylvia, or Stella?
Is she engaged to Stroke or Bow?
I would they could assure me now
She loves to flirt with others !
Will stalwart Sculls e'er claim her hand?
How gladly would I understand
Her crew are naught but brothers !
Her hat with lilies is bedight
Her voice is low, her laugh is light,
Her figure slight and girly.
How cheerfully I'd take a trip,
With such a Pilot for my ship,
And sail away from Hurley !
I wonder if her heart is true?
I know her eyes are peerless blue,
Long lashes downward sweeping;
A snow-white ruff around her throat,
Beneath her pouting petticoat
A little foot out-peeping.
O, is she wooed and is she won,
Or is she very fond of fun?
I make a thousand guesses !
A sweet young face, so full of hope,
A dainty hand on tiller-rope,
And raindrops in her tresses.
Three tiny rosebuds lightly rest
Within the haven of her breast
Her locks are short and curly.
The sun is gone !
Down comes the rain !
I leave my heart cleft well in twain
Within the Lock at Hurley !
[ The cold shower was invented for the likes of Joseph Ashby-Sterry ]
1910: Fred Thacker - "one of the oldest looking [locks] on the river, with timber sides like Days".
Hurley Lock, E A Ferriby
1906: G.E.Mitton -
Beyond the lock there is a sheltered channel with the quaintest old-world flavour about it, a flavour which grows yearly more and more difficult to find as it melts away before the onward sweep of the advertising age. A strip of green turf is lined by an old brick wall with lichen and moss growing on its coping, so that when the sun catches it, it is like a ribbon of gold. Tall gate piers, crowned by stone balls, frame a bit of the excellently kept velvet lawns of Lady Place. There are many of these old piers and balls, and nearly all are overgrown with roses.
1890: Hurley Lock from the bridge, Francis Frith -
1890: Hurley Lock from the bridge, Francis Frith
2010: Lock renovations -
HURLEY lock is undergoing a £1.2 million renovation.
New lock gates will be installed along with a fully refurbished lock chamber, as part of a river-wide project to improve and repair 15 locks along the River Thames. The project in Hurley is the largest taking place. The 18-foot-deep lock will be drained to enable workmen to carry out structural repairs and to mend damage caused by water erosion.
The new hydraulic gates, which weigh five tonnes, will last 60 years and will be automated to allow boaters to open and close the gates at the touch of a button.
Hurley Lock Renovations December 2010