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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 March, 2004, 11:56 GMT
Restored aqueduct reopens
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct has had a 2m spring clean
One of the world's highest navigable aqueducts has reopened for boats after a 2m revamp.

The Pontcysyllte landmark near Llangollen has been cleaned and stripped of all graffiti in time for its 200th birthday celebration next year.

Built by Thomas Telford, the aqueduct was opened in 1805 - the year Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar - and is the oldest operational cast iron aqueduct in the world.

The 1,000 foot long structure will not be open for foot passengers to use for another month.

"Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is truly awe-inspiring and a triumph of the Industrial Revolution," said Robin Evans from British Waterways, which has paid for the restoration.

"This world-famous aqueduct is one of 3,000 listed structures on our 2,000-mile inland waterway network."

In November, the aqueduct was drained to allow the extensive repair work to go ahead.

It is the first time the structure has been overhauled in five years.

The first stone of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was laid on 25 July 1795, and it officially opened on 26 November 1805. The project cost 45,000.

The landmark is well-used - particularly in the busy tourist season - and crossed by more than 1,000 boats and 25,000 pedestrians each year.

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