Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The canal in the sky

On Sunday we drove over to Llangollen, home of the world-famous international eisteddfod, with the intention not of seeing the town itself - pretty though it was - but to find the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Built over a ten-year period from 1795, the aqueduct carries the Llangollen canal 127' (39m) above the River Dee.

Designed by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, it was one of the earliest aqueducts to use a cast iron trough, and there are eighteen of these pillars, made of local stone. On one side of the trough is the footpath and railing; on the other thin air. I walked about a quarter of the way across the footpath (don't believe Husband when he says I only did about one tenth; it felt like a quarter) when my stomach contracted and I hastened back from whence I had come rather than carry on and risk a full-scale panic. Husband, of course, 'felt the fear and did it anyway'. Huh!
But I managed it quite happily when we took the boat ride across. And I still have no idea how to pronounce its name.


jay said...

It's quite stunning, isn't it, to think that this thing was built in the late seventeen hundreds? Without the technological help we have these days with planning and logistics and construction on this scale? But as OH just reminded me, the Romans were doing it even earlier!

I don't know how to pronounce that, either! LOL!

Dina ... UK said...

We never went there, Samantha did wish I had now...:-/
I am not that good with heights....
My mono this week was take outside the little motor museum a mile up from the station....

Furtheron said...

What an amazing place. Could we build that today? I suppose the answer is pointless, we'd do it some other way with big cranes, concrete and steel no doubt

Leslie: said...

I've been to the town but didn't walk across - good ice-cream there, tough! lol

CherryPie said...

I always love to see that bridge, your photos a great. You wouldn't catch me walking along it either!

Katney said...

Err, no way! thank you but there are some things I will not do.

Liz said...

Devilishly clever those Romans, jay!

It's an impessive place, dina.

I doubt it would be made to last today either, furtheron.

Ice cream, leslie, mmm.

I thought I could do it, cherrypie, but fear won - irrational though I knew it was.

But you're always up high on mountains, katney!

Berni said...

Showed my husband and he said he knew it well since he is from Cheshire. He spent a lot of time cycling through north Wales

Lia said...

Hi Liz,
I went over this in a canal boat when I was 13, with my Grandpa, I don't remember much as I passed out less than halfway over it.
Those horrid brothers of mine, still tease me about it to this day.
One minute,I was standing in the canal boat next I was on the deck stone cold out of it.
I have never been back, but I think I might be better this time out as I have gotten use to hieghts now.
I do believe that this coming Sunday at 9pm on BBC1 there is a new show starting about rivers and they will be covering this crossing.
much love Lia xx

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