Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Grid reference: SJ270420
Coordinates: 52.97053°N 3.0878°W
John Benson, Canal & River Trust Archivist

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in north east Wales. The 18 arched stone and cast iron structure, which took ten years to design and build, was completed in 1805.

- John Benson, Canal & River Trust Archivist

Did you know

After building the Chirk Aqueduct further upstream on the Llangollen Canal, master engineer Thomas Telford was inspired to build an even bigger and grander aqueduct. Judging by the stunning Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, he succeeded.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the oldest and longest navigable aqueduct in Great Britain, as well as being the highest in the world. Along with engineer William Jessop, Telford built the cast-iron Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to stand at over 100 feet above the River Dee, with a trough 1,007 feet long. In

total, the aqueduct took over 10 years to construct, from planning all the way through to unveiling – and cost just over £47,000 to build.

It was officially opened to narrowboat traffic on the 26th November 1805, with a plaque created for the occasion, commemorating the “union between England and Wales by a navigable communication of the three rivers.”

5 things to do nearby

Llangollen Bridge - If you enjoy watching the rapids flow by, this is certainly the perfect place to get a great view.

Valle Crucis Abbey - This fascinating site is an amazing place to visit and take in some of the local history.

Springhill Farm Riding Stables - Whether you're a seasoned rider or a beginner, this is a wonderful place for the whole family.

Berwyn Railway Station - For those who want to enjoy a nostalgic trip on a steam engine, this is a great experience.

Alyn Waters Country Park -This country park makes for the ideal place to go on a relaxing stroll.

Image credit: John Cairns / Alamy

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