Pontcysyllte Aqueduct world heritage site celebrations continue with royal approval

Published date: 06 October 2009 | Published by: Phil Robinson

NORTH Wales’ new world-ranking landmark has gained the royal seal approval for the second time.

Back in March, the Prince of Wales visited the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct during his official visit to the village of Froncysyllte, marvelling at its scale and the achievement of its construction just over two centuries ago.

And he sent his formal greetings to be read out during an outdoor celebration on Saturday to mark the aqueduct’s granting of World Heritage status earlier this year.

In it, he said: “I am very sorry not to be with you today to join in such a special celebration.

“However, I could not let the occasion pass without sending my heartfelt congratulations to all who have worked tirelessly to bring about this wonderful success.

“The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, the third World Heritage Site in Wales, now takes its rightful place among the world’s elite cultural sites.”

The message added: “As someone who has an abiding interest in protecting and promoting enjoyment of this country’s rich architectural and industrial heritage, I believe it is essential that this great legacy is passed on by our generation to the next, through educating young people to learn respect for, and take pride in, the unique heritage they inherit.”

Wrexham Council teamed up with British Waterways to lay on the party at Trevor Basin in the shadow of the aqueduct.

One of the high points of the day was the unveiling of commemorative plaques set within a local sandstone mounting.

The two plaques – inscribed in Welsh and English – will sit side by side within the 5ft tall sandstone obelisk, which has been hand crafted from the same material used to build the aqueduct over 200 years ago.

Following a lantern parade around the area, the day, organised with the help of local community groups was rounded off by a spectacular fireworks display.

Engineering legend and builder of the aqueduct Thomas Telford himself was on hand to supervise proceedings – or rather an actor who looks very much like him.

The aqueduct, built between 1795 and 1805, is regarded as one of Telford’s greatest achievements.

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

Please login to your facebook account before comment.