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Friday, 22 January 2016

Vote for Wales’ Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, nominated as Heritage Site of the Year for BBC Countryfile Awards 2015-16

View of the magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct with a narrow boat crossing, NPRN: 34410   DI2010_1390.
Forming the majestic centrepiece of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along with 11 miles of its canal and associated structures, is a worthy candidate for Heritage Site of the Year in this year’s BBC Countryfile Awards 2015-16. Designed by two of the outstanding figures in the history of civil engineering, William Jessop and Thomas Telford, the aqueduct was built between 1795 and 1805, at a cost of £47,018 to carry the Llangollen (Ellesmere) Canal across the River Dee to the south of Trefor Basin.

With the application of the new technologies of cast iron, Pontcyscyllte Aqueduct was a highly innovative monumental structure and its enduring legacy is due to the brilliance of Jessop and Telford’s design. Eighteen tapering stone piers carry a narrow trough of iron plates for a distance of 307m. There is only 25mm between the water inside and the thin air outside the metal plates. It is 38.4m from the water level of the canal to the river below. Pontcysyllte remained the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world for 200 years. It was only superseded in the twenty-first century by aqueducts for boat lifts in Belgium and China.

An aerial view of the breath-taking central spans of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, NPRN: 34410   AP_2006_0914.
The aqueduct was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2009 putting it alongside iconic sites like the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China and the Tower of London.  The story of the aqueduct is told by the former Secretary of the Royal Commission, in our recent joint publication, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal: World Heritage Site, available from the Royal Commission for only £9.95, plus free p&p.

The closing date for votes is 31 January 2016:

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