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Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

The History of the Rideau Canal


Specifications of the Lockstation:

One lock with a lift of 9 feet, 6 inches.

The Construction of the Lockstation:

Clowes Lock Control Building Clowes Lock Control Building
©Parks Canada

Clowes Lockstation is located about 2 ½ miles downstream from Merrickville. It was named after James Clowes who was the first contractor for its construction. Clowes was also the owner of a nearby quarry which supplied stone for the construction of the locks, dams and weirs at Merrickville and Nicholsons, as well as at the Clowes Lockstation. Colonel By, less pleased with Clowes' work as a contractor than with his quarried stone, terminated his contract and replaced him with Alexander Hayes, who completed the work.

The Structures of the Lockstation:

Lockmaster's House: A one-storey defensible lockmaster's house was built in 1838. It was similar to others built along the canal except that it lacked loopholes for firing on attackers. The second storey was added during the 1880s.

Engineering Structures: Originally, the lockstation consisted of a single lock chamber and an arched overflow dam. The spring flood of 1828 caused substantial damage to the partially completed dam and a stone waste weir was installed to relieve pressure on the structure.