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Crossing the Dee

"The aqueduct is a triumph of modern arts and British invention and industry."

Oration, Official opening of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 26th November 1805

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen canal through the air for 307 metres (1007 feet) at a height of 38½ metres (126 feet 8 inches) above the River Dee.

The 200 year old aqueduct comprises eighteen slender stone pillars and nineteen iron arches that support an iron trough.  The iron trough contains a channel of water, about 2½ metres (8 feet) wide, designed for narrow boats.

This description sounds simple, but the story behind the Aqueduct was rarely straightforward.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct © The Waterways Trust

"The Aqueduct of Pontcysyllte is destined to convey the riches of the mineral kingdom into the world of industry, and thence to every part of the universe."

Oration, Official opening of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 26th November 1805

"This aqueduct is an excellent idea. It is a bridge for boats. it will make the boats' journeys much quicker."

Oration, Official opening of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 26th November 1805

The Llangollen Canal has had several different names.

Originally it was known as the Ellesmere Canal.  The current name covers the canal from Hurleston Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal, near Nantwich, in Cheshire to Llantysilio in Denbighshire.

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