THE remains of this atmospheric old lock, photographed by Newick man Tony Turk, can be seen on National Trust-owned land at Sheffield Park.
A dramatic incident happened there in 1794 when Lord Sheffield and his family almost drowned.
Said Tony: "The tale was told in a letter sent by his eldest daughter Maria Josepha Holroyd."
As Maria put it in her communication: "We were within an inch of being drowned last night in the Iron Gate Lock, by the oddest accident that perhaps ever happened in navigation.
"The water was rising very fast and, by inattention, the end of the boat got hitched under the beam that goes across the gate of the lock and Papa could not push it off. Consequently, as the water rose, it raised the other end of the boat and filled the lower part.
"Papa very quietly informed us we were going to sink which was not a very pleasant idea with ten feet of water beneath us. I was at the upper part of the boat which was within two or three feet of the side and I skipped out and Jessy Sinclair, the youngest after me, by the
assistance of my hand.
"The rest, Aunt Harriet and Miss S, instead of following me, clung to Papa who called on them to stand upon the bar of the lock (that which is half-way) and Aunt and Miss S were dragged up the side by Vine.
"Poor Harriet, while she was upon the gate of the lock, went into strong hysterics and when she was pulled up fainted away completely; for, added to the degree of alarm we all felt, the cord that tows the boat entangled round her leg and if it had sunk she must have been dragged down with it and perhaps Papa with her who had fast hold of her.
"In short, it was not at all amusing at the time.
"It was astonishing how fast the boat filled but, when we were out, it floated, though brimful with water. The coachman who was with us was so terrified, he was of no manner of use."