In the 1750s, to improve navigation on this flood-prone river, two John Smiths (father and son) built a lock and weir combination that is the most impressive piece of engineering on any English navigation before 1760. It created an island which then had a watermill built upon it. In 1823 the Trustees of the Ouse Navigation built the fine-looking Greek Revival Banqueting House nearby. Further work took place in Victorian times when a new larger lock was built alongside the original one. This was opened in 1888 by Prince Albert Victor and at the same time two lock-keepers’ cottages and a range of offices and workshops were built.