250th anniversary of Grand Sluice

The Grand Sluice celebrates its 250th anniversary this year. Picture supplied
The Grand Sluice celebrates its 250th anniversary this year. Picture supplied

Boston’s Grand Sluice celebrates its 250th anniversary next month.

Many thousands pass over Grand Sluice every day, but many may not realise that it is more than just another bridge over The Haven.

Its construction coincided with and helped industrial expansion of Boston and its population, becoming the largest town in the county.

Grand Sluice was the Boston Barrier of its day – a structure to control waters in the River Witham, separating the tidal Haven from the non-tidal river sweeping down from Lincoln and beyond.

The incorporation of a lock secured river navigation, stopped regular flooding between Boston and Lincoln and allowed reclamation of 111,000 acres of agricultural land.

Today houses occupy the course of the old river in the Fydell Street, Orchard Street and Castle Street areas. Most of Witham Way Country Park has been developed on one of the widest former stretches of river and marsh.

A new information board telling the story of the Sluice, will be unveiled at the site on Monday, October 10, by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis, at 10.15am and all are welcome to attend.

Afterwards he will board the decorated Boston Belle for the ceremonial passing through the lock of the Grand Sluice to the site of the proposed new Boston Barrier.

A plaque dedicated by ICE and attached to the Grand Sluice will also be unveiled.

Other events include a free lecture by Neil Wright on Monday, October 3 at 6.15pm – book at www.ice.org.uk/events/grand-sluice-boston-250th-anniversary

On Saturday, October 8, at 2pm Neil will also give a free talk at Fydell House entitled Grand Sluice – Something to boast about.