Work to restore the famous Three Rise Locks to their former Georgian glory has reached rock bottom - as a team of carpenters have been brought in to repair a timber floor.

It might not be the obvious place to find wooden flooring, but British Waterways workers discovered the bottom chamber of the Bingley lock was made of pitch pine, which was being washed away.

A hole had also been created around one-metre long and three-metres wide and so a £25,000 project to restore the flooring was started.

Due to the Grade II* listed status of the chamber, original wood needed to be sourced and it took a couple of weeks to track down the produce abroad.

The materials were lifted by crane from the neighbouring Damart site and it is hoped the work on the floor will be completed by the end of today.

The base of the two other chambers - the top and the middle chambers - were constructed in stone when the locks were built in the 1770s.

Team leader Darren Trolley said: "It is important to restore it now as it was making the site structurally unsafe.

"It was a bit of a job finding the wood - it was last replaced about 40 to 45 years ago. We haven't found any treasure yet, but we usually do."

Judy Jones, British Waterways heritage adviser, said it was remarkable the floor had lasted so long.

She said the joists were broadly still in place but the boards were rotten.

This latest piece of unforeseen work comes as British Waterways has put in new oak gates, replacing the original style "piggy back" balance beams and the single balance beams which have been used in modern times. And the paddle gear, which lets the water out, will also revert to the old-style system.

Out will go the modern wind-up mechanism and in its place will be fitted the original scissor paddles which open with a sideways motion.

The new oak lock gates were constructed at the British Waterways workshop at Stanley Ferry, Wakefield.

The work was due to be completed by last Friday and it is hoped it will now be finished by the end of this week. Then that section of the canal will be re-opened to boating and towpath restrictions lifted.