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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Aqueduct set for heritage status
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct marked its 200th anniversary in 2005
An aqueduct near Wrexham is a step closer to being recognised as one of the "wonders of the world."

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct has been nominated by the UK government to become a World Heritage Site.

British bids are hardly ever rejected by Unesco - meaning the aqueduct looks set to join the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China on the list.

Alun Pugh, the Welsh Assembly Government's culture minister described the viaduct as "a jewel in the crown."

He added: "The aqueduct is world known and an impressive example of waterways engineering in the late 18th Century."

The UK culture minister, David Lammy, announced on Tuesday that the aqueduct was being nominated for inclusion, along with two other contenders - the Antonine Wall in Scotland, and the Monastery of Wearmouth and Jarrow in Northumbria.

It is hoped all three will be given special status over the next three years.

Only one British bid for Unesco World Heritage status has ever failed, and that was on a technicality.

There are currently 27 UK World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge, the Tower of London, and Blenheim Palace.

Opened in 1805, the aqueduct cost 45,000 and was built to improve transport links. It was seen as a pioneer of cast iron construction during the industrial revolution.

The 1,000ft-long structure, which carries the Llangollen Canal above the Dee valley, is one of the region's biggest tourist attractions bringing in around 250,000 visitors a year by boat or on foot.

The Pontcysyllte bid is being jointly co-ordinated by Wrexham County Borough Council and British Waterways.

The council's chief executive, Isobel Garner, said: "The aqueduct represents a great historical resource for Wrexham and north east Wales and the Oswestry area.

"Gaining world heritage status would be of great value to the local community as well as a real coup for the tourism profile of the area."




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"At 201 years old, it's still got the wow factor"



SEE ALSO
Roman wall in running for award
10 Oct 06 |  Scotland
World heritage hopes for aqueduct
27 Jul 05 |  North East Wales
Aqueduct's big bicentenary party
27 Nov 05 |  North East Wales
Book honours pioneering engineer
28 Oct 04 |  Shropshire
Kew is newest 'world wonder'
04 Jul 03 |  London
Restored aqueduct reopens
14 Mar 04 |  North East Wales
Plug pulled on historic aqueduct
20 Jan 98 |  UK News

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