About Us: History and the Future of the Trust

The Trust was formed in 1986, since then

Four of the Locks are listed - Ticklepenny's, Willows, Salter Fen and Alvingham
Three Warehouses are listed - Riverhead, Austin Fen Pea Warehouse and Thoresby Bridge
1994 Ticklepenny's Lock - repair work undertaken by LNT to avoid deterioration or collapse
1996 Formed Charity - Louth Navigation Trust
1999 Restoration of Navigation Warehouse at Riverhead, Louth LNT/GWL
1999 "Louth Navigation - A History" by Stuart Sizer book published
2002 Website created and kept up to date, History and Geography etc. www.louthcanal.org.uk
2003 John Grundy's original plan placed in Lincoln Archives
2003 Market Town Initiative
2005 Towpath Restoration Louth to Tetney Lock completed
2006  "People and Boats" by Stuart Sizer and Josephine Clark book published
2006 Canal Restoration Feasibility Study undertaken 40,000
2006 Educational signage along the canal 14,000
2006 Four walk Leaflets
2007 Formed Company Limited by Guarantee - Louth Navigation Trust Ltd
2008 Boules Piste land bought and developed
2009 Louth Navigation listed as a scheduled monument on H.E.R website
2009 Included in "Louth Town Plan" and listed as development project in ELDC draft LDF
2011 Stuart Sizer appointed as Trust Archivist
2011 Padley's 1828 plan purchased and placed in Museum archives
2012 Preliminary Engineering report for restoration of Alvingham Lock by Roy Sutton
2014 Facebook page set up
2014 Visited Phillips66 about pipeline replacement, Tetney Haven
2014 Riverhead Arts project started by Nicki Jarvis
2015 Louth Navigation Trust Past, Present and future Exhibition at Louth Museum
2016 A list of registered land owners along the canal corridor provided by ELDC
2016 Louth Navigation restoration in ELDC's 5 year economic development action plan Sept
2017 Co-op Community Fund. LNT nominated top project by Co-op members 5454
2017 GWL sale of Navigation Warehouse by auction successfully intercepted by LNT/ELDC
2018 Multi User Path Tetney Lock to Water Rail Way feasibility study undertaken by Sustrans in partnership with ELDC and LNT
ELDC to "roll over" LNT lease
Culture at the Canal event as part of Louth Zero Degrees Festival
"OUTFALLS" exhibition, image, text and memory along the Louth Canal
Formation of Louth Navigation Regeneration Partnership to enable larger projects to be undertaken
Collapse of Keddington Lock causing erosion of the canal channel


Towpath mowing, maintenance, style repairs, signage, milestones etc.
Rubbish Clearance
Guided Walks undertaken
Educational Outreach Work to schools and local societies and groups
Partnerships formed with local government bodies LTC, ELDC, LCC,EA,LMDB,IWA, C&RT, LWP, GWL, LRP, ML, MTI, LSP.....
Promotional Fundraising events on a regular basis
Boules matches
Approx 250 members

Photographs of Activities (click here)

The Trust seeks to enhance the Louth Navigation canal corridor, by undertaking sustainable heritage programmes of canal and building restoration, together with the implementation of educational, recreational, environmental and economic projects, for the long term benefit of the community.

The Navigation Warehouse is located in Louth, Lincolnshire, a Georgian market town on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The building is situated mile to the east of the town centre, in a run down area known as the Riverhead at the terminus of the Louth Navigation, a canal connecting the town with the River Humber estuary some 12 miles distant, which closed in 1924.

Louth Navigation canal corridor represents one of the most significant developments in the Industrial Revolution. It was the first commissioned design for a locked artificial waterway in this country, and its designer, James Grundy, was one of the first trained civil engineers. The aims were to overcome transport and drainage difficulties in the Middle Marsh. It played a vital, but currently understated role in the history of the Industrial Revolution.

The warehouse, built at the Riverhead c.1770, is mentioned in Padley's 1828 survey of the canal as '…a warehouse at the River Head…consisting of a ground floor and two others, built of brick, covered with pantiles…'.

The canal terminus, was constructed to a depth of 6'6'', having a width of 66'6' and a variety of trades proliferated in the area. Humber Keels and Sloops, Billy Boys, fishing smacks, and latterly steam boats, used the wharves and warehouses for the import of a variety of goods, including coal and timber, and the export of wool and corn. In 1790 more fish was landed in Louth than at the port of Grimsby. The canal became the economic engine of Louth and brought prosperity to the town for many years. The waterway and associated warehousing fell into a slow decline after the advent of the railway in 1846 and eventually closed in 1924.

During 1998 and 1999 The Trust, together with Groundwork Lincolnshire, purchased and renovated the building which is now called the 'Navigation Warehouse'. Together they have created an exemplar building renovated to the highest environmental standards using the latest green technologies. It now houses on the ground floor a canal information and interpretation centre, with interactive displays designed and managed by the Trust.

The Navigation Warehouse opened on 20th May 1999, when representatives from funding organisations celebrated the completion of an innovative and high quality project. On the 21st June 1999 the warehouse was visited by Richard Caborn MP, then Minister of State for Regeneration, who approved of what he saw and supported the future regeneration of the Riverhead area and canal. Since then the warehouse has been used by all sections of the community and established itself as an attractive venue valued by the local community. 

The history of the warehouse is inextricably linked with the Louth Navigation canal and its restoration is part of a wider strategy by the Trust and its partners to reopen the 12 miles of waterway for navigation from Louth to the sea. Although some small scale remedial work has been undertaken by the Trust, the restoration of the warehouse is seen by the public as the first, highly visible, step towards the renascence of the semi derelict and decaying Riverhead area and canal corridor. The renovation of the warehouse has set a design standard that will be the catalyst and benchmark for all other restoration work in the area, together with setting a precedent for new buildings, including 80 dwellings downstream on a formal industrial site, and a new Riverhead Theatre (partly funded by the Arts Council) close by the warehouse.

Louth Navigation: Feasibility Report Launched January 2006

Feasibility Report Launched January 2006.pdf