Monday, 15 December 2014

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct | The Longest and Highest Aqueduct in Britain

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales. Completed in 1805, is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, its is the first navigable cast iron aqueduct in the world and a Grade I Listed Building and UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999. The aqueduct, built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, is 1,007 ft or 307 meter long, 11 ft or 3.4 meter wide and 5.25 ft or 1.60 meter deep. It consists of a cast iron trough supported 126 ft or 38 meter above the river on iron arched ribs carried on eighteen hollow masonry piers (pillars). Each of the nineteen spans is 53 ft or 16 meter wide., and has undergone a recent renovation. In 2007 it was reopened, allowing its use since they perform daily sightseeing cruises along the entire route tours.

Pontcysyllte aqueduct on the llangollen canal. Pontcysyllte is pronounced 'pont-ker-suth-tee'.
Pontcysyllte aqueduct on the llangollen canal. Pontcysyllte is pronounced 'pont-ker-suth-tee'. Image credit Gareth Davies
It was opened on 26 November 1805, having taken around ten years to design and build at a total cost of £47,000. Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to no more than £3,330,000 in 2014, but bore a much larger relationship to contemporary GDP of only some £400 million. On the other hand such a project would cost more today due to factors that did not apply in the early 19th century such as higher real wages, safety measures, new regulations and taxes, financing fees and so on. [source]

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales.
Image credit Robert Silverwood

At that time, artificial canals were the main means of transport for both people, goods and materials in the UK eighteenth and early nineteenth century ... before the industrial revolution was leaving the obsolete by the use of steam trains ...... However and despite the incipient time, today we can still find this longevity means of transport become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Wales, besides being the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain and be declared by the UNESCO as World Heritage. And in our time, despite his advanced age, the aqueduct is one of the busiest areas of the UK canal network - its capacity per year is about fifteen thousand boats.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales.
Image credit Alison Wheatley

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Wales.
Image credit jeremy

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales.
Image credit Susanne

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, a Grade I Listed Building and a World Heritage Site.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, a Grade I Listed Building and a World Heritage Site. Image credit Tony Jones
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales.
Image credit Robert Silverwood

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales.
Image credit Philip Blayney

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north Wales.
Image credit Photo Phiend

Boattrip Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Boattrip Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Image credit Markus Baumgartner

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 126' above the river Dee, this aqueduct is part of the Llangollen canal system that once moved freight all over England. When railroads took that job, they became recreational waterways for narrow boats.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 126' above the river Dee, this aqueduct is part of the Llangollen canal system that once moved freight all over England. When railroads took that job, they became recreational waterways for narrow boats. Image credit Bob White

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