This virtual journey now returns to the main line at the Old Double Lock.
The Old Double Lock, looking back to the junction with the Blackbrook Branch, which goes off to the right. The route of the main line to St Helens went slightly left, across the playing fields, to where St Augustine's School can be seen in the distance. A pipe now crosses the upper lock chamber where once a railway swing bridge crossed. The green footbridge in the photo has since been replaced.
The Old Double Lock. This was the first "double lock" or "lock staircase" in England, built in 1756-7 (although there were already a number of lock staircases in France at this time). It had three pairs of gates and two chambers. One chamber opened directly into the other. There was a railway swing bridge across the upper chamber and a pedestrian swing bridge across the lower chamber. It is known as the "Old Double Lock" because a second lock staircase, the "New Double Lock" was built a mile to the west in 1770.
The Old Double Lock. The two lock chambers have been partly infilled to create a series of cascades, which was not at all how it looked when in use.
The Old Double Lock.
Looking back to the Old Double Lock.
The canal narrows slightly at the site of Callens Swing Bridge.
Water from Black Brook flows along the middle of what was once the canal bed.
A short distance ahead is the dried out Broad Oak Basin. The photo shows the basin entrance to the left and the canal looking back towards the Old Double Lock to the right.
The remains of Broad Oak Basin, where coal from Broad Oak Colliery was brought by tramroad to be loaded into boats.