Panel A – The Gauging Stop Place and Canal House
Find the ground panel that looks like the one above and line up the arrow with the one on the ground.
The Gauging Stop Place
(or Gauging Lock as some scholars prefer and by which name it was referred to by boatspeople and locals alike), situated outside the house, was used to gauge the displacement of loaded boats which were fitted with four calibrated “gauges”, two forward and two aft. The average of the four readings was used to determine the load and hence the toll to be paid. The toll also depended on the distance the load was to be carried and reference was made to Distance Tables published by the canal companies.
There is some dispute as to which name is correct but, in the Peak Forest Canal Company records, it is always referred to as the Gauging Stop Place.
This stone-built house was the home and office of the wharfinger who was in overall charge of the wharfs. In addition to his duties dealing with the diverse commodities passing to and from the basin, he was responsible for collecting tolls raising revenue for the PFCC from cargoes leaving the basin.
Building the house was authorised in 1797 and the first wharfinger was German Wheatcroft. The office was situated behind the row of windows in the gable end - the bars were to prevent horses breaking the windows.
Built at a slightly later date, the stable just to the east of Canal House was, according to the canal company, to provided to stable the horse provided by the company to enable the wharfinger, '… to better attend to his duties …' [at Bugsworth Basin]. This is an early example of a company perk.
Signed on the 30 April 1800 by German Wheatcroft, this permit allowed Albert Heathcote on Samuel Oldknow’s boat No. 2 to carry 24 tons of paving stones from Bugsworth Basin to Manchester, a distance of 20 miles. The paving stones would have come from Crist quarry close to Bugsworth Basin