Brilliant Bingley Five Rise

Sorry a bit of a blurry image from way back with my phone, but I quite like it all the same.

The Five rise at Bingley really is quite incredible and great fun to go through.

The five is the steepest flight of locks in the UK, with a gradient of about 1:5 (a rise of 59ft 2in (18.03m) over a distance of 320 ft).
The intermediate and bottom gates are also . the tallest in the country.

Staircase, or riser locks, are where the bottom gates of one lock form the top gates of the next lock, so you pass from one lock straight into the next one.

When the locks were opened in 1774 a crowd of 30,000 people turned out to celebrate. The first boat to use the locks took just 28 minutes, they tend to run them a bit more slowly these days. Unlike regular locks an odd numbered riser set works most efficiently if kept going in one direction, turning them uses at lease a lock full of water. so they are inefficient and consideration was given to changing the five rise into an incline plane or even individual locks, but the solutions were always too costly, despite the huge water usage.

The technology of riser locks, was out-of-date by the 1770s, when they were built, due to the inefficiencies in the design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.