To the east of Ryeford is Double Lock, which has two chambers sharing a middle pair of gates. The lock had structural problems when it was built and the large openings in the walls are to avoid water pressure building up behind. It was badly damaged in the 1980s by water flooding from a nearby burst water main.
Adjoining the lock is a cottage for the lock keeper, built in 1784 and little altered - it has never had proper road access.
Tragedy struck the Burbidge family when living at Double Lock Cottage in November 1838. Four young children aged between nine and two died within a few days of one another and were buried at Cainscross. There were many serious childhood illnesses around at that time, and it seems that even such an awful event as four deaths did not warrant any notice in the local newspaper. However, the Stroudwater Committee did notice, and they ordered 'that our servant John Burbidge be paid £10 above what is due to him for salary'.
From the towpath below Double Lock can be seen the former Haywardsfield Inn which was known by locals as ‘Nowhere’. This name had come about because in ancient times the land associated with the building was classed as ‘extra-parochial’ – not belonging to any parish.
This anomaly was corrected in 1884 when it was amalgamated into Stonehouse parish, but the old name was remembered because when a man arriving home late was asked by his wife where he had been, he could honestly answer ‘nowhere’.
Deaths of four children recorded in Cainscoss parish register.
Payment to John Burbidge recorded in D1180/1/4 p158.
Amalgamation of Hawardsfield into Stonehouse recorded in 1891 Census returns.