The Aqueduct as viewed from the little stone bridge upstream
The little stone bridge upstream, as viewed from the top of the Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte [Pont-ker-sulth-tay] is the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world and carries the Llangollen canal high up over the Dee Valley. It was given World Heritage status in 2009. Thomas Telford and William Jessop worked on the design. They were the greatest canal engineers of their day.
The aqueduct comprises a cast iron trough mounted on stone pillars, spanning the valley 126 feet above the river. It is 307 metres [1007 feet] long and has 18 piers, 39 metres [126 feet] high, and 19 arches, each with a 13.7 metres [45 feet] span. It is fed by water from the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen, and holds 1.5 million litres of water. Each year the aqueduct is crossed by more than 15,000 boats and 200,000 pedestrians. It is an adventure to be experienced by all.
When I was there last week the sky was blue and Autumn had begun to appear, but it was very windy high up on the aqueduct. I managed to walk halfway across and then had to steady myself against the railings in order to get the photograph of the little stone bridge spanning the river upstream. [There are only railings on one side and a narrow parapet for pedestrians. Then the trough that carries the canal, then nothing – just a great big drop 126 feet down!!]