Petit Futé's opinion on PONTCYSYLLTE AQUEDUCT
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a monumental aqueduct, almost 40 metres high and 300 metres long, which spans the torrential river Dee and carries the Llangollen Canal in a long cast iron tank, supported by pillars that are both bold and light. An innovation that has enabled the development of transport capacity. In the old days, horse-drawn boats would cross this suspended track and carry to Ellesmere the coal, lime and irons supplied by the mines and quarries of the LLangollen valley. Going through it today is really impressive!
A pioneering masterpiece of engineering and monumental architecture. Completed in the early 19th century, this overhead canal bridge was built by the famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834), and is popularly called "the canal in the sky" by locals. A pioneering work, due to its technological choices and architectural boldness, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List since June 2009. It reflects the then unique production capabilities of the British steel industry at the time.
This magnificent work offers its envelope of cast iron and wrought iron, placed, as if by magic, on high and thin pillars of elegant architecture. The Pontcysyllte Canal Bridge (Traphont Ddŵr Pontcysyllte in Welsh) represents a feat of civil engineering of the industrial revolution. Its construction as a single forebay, without any locks, despite a difficult geographical environment, makes it a remarkable example of artificial waterway construction, which has inspired many other projects around the world.
Today, its vocation is essentially tourism. The canal bridge is now equipped to accommodate river tourism and represents a tourist destination in its own right. Its canal, filled almost to the brim with water, allows for boat crossings (via Llangollen Wharf), while its narrow cantilevered bolted pavement allows for passage on foot or by bicycle. Beware, in both cases, the experience is dizzying!
In addition, a Visitor Centre, the Trevor Basin Visitor Centre, has recently opened right next to the aqueduct. It houses a collection of historical artifacts dating back to the construction of the Pontcysyllte Canal Bridge. Visitors can also enjoy a video recounting the history of this impressive work, as well as a children's activity area and shop.
Information on PONTCYSYLLTE AQUEDUCT
Free access. Visitor Centre 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. November to Easter, Friday to Monday; 7 days a week from Easter to the end of October.