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Fossdyke & Witham Navigations

The Fossdyke Navigation runs from Torksey Lock on the tidal river Trent, joining the Witham Navigation through to Boston.

Things to do nearby

From the River Trent to Boston

Torksey Lock joins the tidal River Trent to Lincoln High Bridge and the Fossdyke Navigation then joins the Witham Navigation, that runs to the tidal Grand Sluice Lock at Boston and thereafter into the Wash at the outlet of Hobhole Drain. 

The Witham Navigation has junctions with the Sleaford Navigation (junction at Chapel Hill), Horncastle Navigation (derelict but restoration proposed), the Witham Navigable Drains (junction at Anton’s Gowt), with Black Sluice Drain (below Grand Sluice Lock, on the tidal section) and with a number of other small drains and river sections that are navigable or once were.


Facts & Stats

11.3 miles


The length of the Fossdyke Canal that is navigable.

The Witham Navigation is 36.5 miles (58.7 km), of which 4.3 miles (6.9 km) is tidal.

1 lock

+ Witham Navigation locks

There is one lock in the Fossdyke navigation and a further three on the Witham Navigation.



The Grand Sluice at Boston was built to protect the Witham from tides. This waterway was originally constructed by the Romans.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 66′ 3″ (20.2 metres) – Stamp End Lock (longer narrow boats can fit diagonally)
  • Beam: 15′ 3″ (4.64 metres) – Torksey Lock
  • 11′ 3″ (3.43 metres) – Saxilby Railway Bridge
  • 5′ 0″ (1.52 metres) – cill of Torksey Lock, and cill of Stamp End Lock

Navigation authority

Useful info

  • Boats wishing to go further down the Witham Navigation from Lincoln Brayford Pool need to have a maximum height of 2.8 metres for the Glory Hole (old Roman Bridge) in Lincoln.
  • Grand Sluice Lock is only just over 45′ (13.7m) long, so boats over this length need to take advantage of the tidal and retained sections of the river Witham becoming level twice on each tide.

Local activities