Happy St. David’s Day! For those that are unaware, St. David is the patron saint of Wales, which is where my post takes us this week.
Before the days of motorways and interstates, or even railways, canals were the transportation backbone of many countries. In the United Kingdom, the canal network was nothing less than a marvel of the Industrial Revolution.
Some of the most impressive sights of this time were the aqueducts used to carry canals across valleys. And perhaps the most striking of all still stands to this day in Pontcysyllte, Wales. Even more amazing, it’s still in use, although these days by holiday makers instead of industry.
Soaring 126 feet above the River Dee on 18 stone pillars, Pontcysyllte (which aptly means the bridge that connects in Welsh) is the highest navigable aqueduct ever built. It was constructed over 200 years ago, by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, two engineering giants of their day.
The Llangollen Canal crosses Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in a cast iron trough, one of the earliest aqueducts to use this method. The trough is 1007 feet long, 11 feet 10 inches wide, and 5 feet 3 inches deep. Over 50 million litres of water (more than 13 million US gallons) flow through it each day.
Beside the trough runs a pathway, which is exposed enough to make most people hesitate. Also note, there’s no railing on the trough side of the bridge!
In 2009, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and 11 miles of the Llangollen Canal, were given UNESCO World Heritage status.
This post was inspired by this photo themes of The Road Taken and Hesitate from the Daily Post, Exposure from Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge, and Looking Up At Things from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, not to mention Cee’s Which Way Challenge.
The first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes later this year.
Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!