Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage Site

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The Aqueduct as viewed from the little stone bridge upstream

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The little stone bridge upstream, as viewed from the top of the Aqueduct

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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!!]

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The Weeping Window of Poppies

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Poppies: Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from the ramparts  to the ground below, originally part of the display at the Tower of London in 2014.

It can be viewed at Caernarfon castle in North Wales until 20th November 2016 – the first venue in Wales to host the sculpture, to mark the centenary of the First World War.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, Caernarfon Castle, built by Edward I in 1283, is under the guardianship of Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh government. [Cadw is the Welsh verb ‘to protect’]

The Wales for Peace Project explores the question: “In the hundred years since WW1, how has Wales contributed in the search for Peace?”

Harlech Castle, North Wales

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Harlech Castle is located at Harlech, in Gwynedd, North Wales.  The mediaeval fortress was constructed by King Edward I towards the end of the thirteenth century, as part of his ‘Iron Ring’ of castles, built around North Wales to subdue and conquer the Welsh.

The castle was built on the top of a cliff, close to the Irish sea, and was virtually impregnable.  The sea originally came much closer to Harlech than in modern times, and a water-gate and a long flight of steps leads down from the castle to the former shore, which allowed the castle to be resupplied by sea during sieges. 

The castle ruins are now managed by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, as a tourist attraction.

Along with Caernarfon Castle, Conwy Castle and Beaumaris Castle, this monument has been part of the Castles and Town Walls of Edward 1 World Heritage Site since 1986.

“Men of Harlech”, the nation’s unofficial anthem, loved by rugby fans and regimental bands alike, is said to describe the siege which took place here during the War of the Roses, wherein a handful of men held out against a besieging army of thousands. [The Wars of the Roses were a series of wars for control of the throne of England. They were fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet, those of Lancaster and York. The name Wars of the Roses refers to the heraldic badges associated with the two royal houses, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wikipedia]