Page last updated at 21:41 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 22:41 UK

Aqueduct crowned world 'wonder'

Pontcysyllte aqueduct
The aqueduct is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions

A 200-year-old aqueduct near Wrexham has been crowned as one of the heritage "wonders" of the world.

Pontcysyllte aqueduct was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The structure, built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.

There are about 900 such sites including Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China and Taj Mahal.

'Over the moon'

The aqueduct is regarded as one of Telford's greatest civil engineering achievements.

A cast iron trough on top of 18 stone piers carries the Llangollen canal 126ft above the River Dee.

Dr Dawn Roberts, economic development manager for Wrexham Council, said: "We are absolutely over the moon.


Telford's aqueduct was revolutionary in its combination of stonework and iron, say experts

"We have been working on this for so long and it means so much to those of us that are from this area.

"To have our aqueduct and our canal named as a World Heritage Site is amazing. There is so much local pride and a lot of celebrations going on."

The aqueduct's honour was confirmed by a panel representing 21 nations at a Unesco meeting in the Spanish city of Seville.

The bid was supported by Wrexham Council and British Waterways.

World Heritage nomination for Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal is the cherry on the cake for Wales's historic transport and industrial environment
Rhodri Morgan
Welsh First Minister

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "World Heritage nomination for Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal is the cherry on the cake for Wales's historic transport and industrial environment."

Councillor Aled Roberts, leader of Wrexham Council, said: "It is a very proud day for Wrexham to have achieved this major coup and we hope very much that it will bring economic regeneration not only to our communities along the canal corridor but those of our neighbours Denbighshire and Shropshire."

UK Culture Minister Barbara Follett said the honour was a "well-deserved boost to the area."

Pontcysyllte is one of the region's biggest tourist attractions bringing in 250,000 visitors a year by boat.

The aqueduct, built between 1795 and 1805 at a cost of £45,000, is the UK's 28th World Heritage Site.

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