Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Inspired by the Industrial Revolution, the first stone was laid in 1795. Ten years later the marvellous structure designed and built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop was opened.

The aqueduct near Wrexham is a World Heritage Site and lies between England and Wales – actually it is the border over the River Dee.

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This structure was built to create a navigable union betwen England and Wales to connect important rivers: Dee, Severn and Mersey. The Wrexham are was active in the Industrial Revolution: coal, iron, brick and tile, mines and work and limekilns made the cana system vital in Britain and especially this northern area.


  • The aqueduct rises to a height of 35 m
  • The ironwork is 3.3m wide, 1.6m deep and 305m long
  • 19 cast iron arches with a 13.6 m span support the bridge
  • Everything was constructed from local stone
  • It holds over 1.5 million lites of water and takes two hours to drain

Photos below by Mike Prince

GR8 to Know

Latin origins: “ductus” – leading, conducting; “aquae” – water; aquae ductus – leading over water

Viaduct: “via” – road; “ductus” – leading, conducting