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Carpenters Road Lock

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit Carpenters Road Lock on the Lee & Stort Navigations by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to encourage visiting boats and a photo of your boat in Carpenters Road Lock will be a good proof of your visit. The network of Bow Back Rivers were restored as part of the building of the 2012 Olympics site, and connect to the River Lee Navigation above Three Mills. With the reopening of Carpenter’s Road Lock in 2017 the waterways are now navigable and passage can be booked through Canal & River Trust.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.


History of The Bow Back Rivers

As part of the preparation for the 2012 Olympics and the creation of Queen Elizabeth Park, the network of tidal and semi-tidal rivers known as the Bow Back Rivers were re-worked and restored. The remaining portion of Pudding Mill River was filled in but channels were dredged and three locks were restored; Three Mills Lock was rebuilt making Waterworks River non-tidal and City Road Lock was restored. Carpenters Road Lock was covered over with a temporary bridge during the Olympics and had to wait to finally be restored.  The reopening of the, long derelict, lock in 2017 was the final piece needed to restore the navigable water space. 

The Bow Back Rivers have been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to encourage visiting boats to explore this relatively unknown part of the waterways. Carpenters Road Lock is the only lock in the country with two radial guillotine gates and a photo of your boat in the lock will be a good proof of your visit.

Bow Back Rivers Notes

Bow Back Rivers Dimension

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Bow Back Rivers is:

  • Length: 87′ 0″ (26.52 metres) 
  • Beam: 20′ 0″ (6.10 metres)
  • Height: Not known 
  • Draught: Not known



A booking with CRT (7 days notice) is required to go through Carpenters Road, City Mill or Three Mills Lock.


There are three connections into the Bow Back Rivers network; up the tidal Bow Creek to Three Mills Lock, off the Lea Navigation into St Thomas Creek just upstream of the A118 road bridge and onto the old River Lea below Old Ford Lock. 

Challenge Location

Carpenters Road Lock

Bow Back Rivers, Queen Elizabeth Park. Passage through Carpenters Road Lock needs to be booked at least seven days in advance.

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