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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 11:27 GMT
Aqueduct's big bicentenary party
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is marking its 200th anniversary
A major celebration has taken place to mark the bicentenary of one of the world's highest navigable aqueducts.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wrexham was built by engineer Thomas Telford and opened in 1805 - the year Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar.

On Saturday, a number of events were staged to mark the anniversary, including the re-enactment of a Napoleonic battle.

The aqueduct's supporters want it listed as a world heritage site.

Pontcysyllte was first identified by Unesco as a potential candidate for world heritage status in 1999.

Backers hope the landmark will join the list of sites including the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Blaenavon industrial landscape in south Wales.

The 1,000 ft long structure which carries the Llangollen Canal above the Dee Valley is one of the region's biggest tourist attractions.

It is the largest aqueduct in Britain and used by more than 10,000 boats and over 25,000 pedestrians every year.


The day of celebration was the culmination of 12 months' planning.

Wrexham Council's Deputy Leader Bob Dutton said a flotilla of boats crossing the aqueduct, a 16-gun salute and a short play about the life of Thomas Telford were included in the event.

"Pontcysyllte aqueduct is one of the world's most renowned and spectacular achievements of waterways engineering," he said.

"As a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers myself, of which Thomas Telford was the first President, I'm sure he would be delighted to see how his structure remains a vital part of the local community 200 years after its completion."

In preparation for the anniversary, owner British Waterways cleaned the structure and stripped it of all graffiti.

A new 32-berth mooring basin in Llangollen was also opened in March.

"It has already been a fantastic year of celebrations," said British Waterways general manager Julie Sharman.

"Pontcysyllte aqueduct was a phenomenon when it was constructed 200 years ago and it rightfully remains top billing as one of the seven wonders of the waterways," she added.

World heritage hopes for aqueduct
27 Jul 05 |  North East Wales
Book honours pioneering engineer
28 Oct 04 |  Shropshire
Restored aqueduct reopens
14 Mar 04 |  North East Wales


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