*chirk aqueduct and viaduct


See the World Heritage Site through the eyes of people who have visited, lived and worked along 11-miles of stunning countryside

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2009, as a ‘masterpiece of creative genius’. Thomas Telford’s innovative handling of a difficult geographical setting, using bold engineering solutions, has served as an inspiration for other projects all over the world since the early 19th century.

The Canal

The Metamorphosis of the Ellesmere Canal
(Richard Dean)

The complex story of how a canal intended to link Shrewsbury to Chester via Ruabon became the canal we see today [Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, November 1985]

‘The Machine’; a boat lift mystery solved?
(Richard Dean)

The experimental boat lift built by Exuperius Pickering and Edward Rowland somewhere in the Ruabon area in 1796 [Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society, December 2007]

The Maintenance of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
(Stephen Priestly)

An outline of the maintenance history of the aqueduct from 1805 to 2001 [Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society]

The People

Thomas Telford and the Ellesmere Canal, 1793 – 1813
(Peter Brown)

Telford was the canal company’s General Agent, equivalent to General Manager; the consulting engineer was William Jessop [Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, July 2007]

Thomas Telford’s Shrewsbury Team
(Andrew Pattison)

John Simpson, who built the stonework of Pontcysyllte and Chirk Aqueducts, and  William Hazledine, who provided the ironwork  [Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, November 2007]

Death on the canal
(Peter Brown)

Selection of canal related deaths in the World Heritage Site area in the 19th and 2th centuries [Extracts from a series of articles published in ‘Cuttings’, the magazine of the Shropshire Union Canal Society, 2014 – 15]

Travellers’ Tales

The Commercial Power of Great Britain
(Charles Dupin)

Extracts relating to the canal taken from a Frenchman’s survey of British engineering in 1823/4 [English translation published in 1825]

Wild Wales
(George Burrow)

Extracts relating to the canal from Burrows reminiscences [published 1862]