This week we are moored,on the Llangollen Canal,formerly the Ellesmere Canal,in the basin at Trevor,pronounced just as you would the boy’s name.It’s a short arm that was opened in 1806 and continues straight ahead as you get over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.It was initially intended that this arm should continue right through to Chester but there was insufficient funds so,instead,canal traffic had to travel the 44 miles to the junction at Hurleston and turn onto the Shropshire Union Canal which was,at that time,the Chester Canal.This enabled goods produced here to be sent to Chester or Birmingham and beyond.There used to be a short canal beyond the basin,it was called the Plas Kynaston Canal which served the local coal mines,chemical works,foundry’s,lime kilns and brick works.There is nothing left of this particular canal other than the bridgehole at the very end of the arm.Permission had been given for a canal to be built here in 1820 but what was built and when is a bit uncertain.There does exist a map of the proposed Plas Kynaston Canal and there are pictures of it as well as a report of it being used as a water supply to the now demolished chemical works that was beyond the bridgehole.
The view of the Northern end of the aqueduct on the left and the end of the arm at Trevor on the right.This is the bridgehole that used to lead to the Plas Kynaston Canal and is the only remains I could find.The rest has been built over.
We left Ellesmere last Thursday after having a very enjoyable Wednesday night with Angela,Mark,Peter and Sandra,the crew of the Merry Pippin,who had moored close to us,on the Ellesmere Arm earlier in the day.The next day,Friday,after an overnight stop at Chirk we cruised towards the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and after crossing the “Stream in the Sky”, we turned left and made our way steadily to Llangollen,where we intended to stay for a couple of days to enjoy the Llangollen Railway’s Steam Festival.The weather for the Festival on the Saturday was excellent and as a result we had a fantastic time.The Llangollen Railway is a great heritage railway and well worth the visit.
On the left,taken East of the Prees Branch.There is currently some debate about overstaying on visitor moorings,could this be a solution? On the right is us going over the Chirk Aqueduct with the railway viaduct on the left.The aqueduct was designed by Telford in 1801 and the viaduct by Henry Robertson in 1846.
The view from Chyandour as we travelled on “ The stream in the sky “ and looking down onto the River Dee,some 126 feet below.Believe me.its not as scary on the boat as it is walking across.
There had been loads of trees blown down before we set off.At one stage the canal had to be closed but CRT contractors had worked hard and made a way through before clearing the rest.
Just a couple of the places on the Llangollen where it gets a bit narrow.
I’m not going to bore you with loads of pic’s of Llangollen Steam Festival,so here’s just a couple.The Railmotor on the left and Foxcote Manor on the right.
On Sunday we were away from Llangollen by mid afternoon,after spending the morning spring cleaning our home and washing some of the dust off the paintwork.Some of the fallen trees that had obstructed the canal on our way towards Llangollen had been removed so it was much easier cruising than when we went in on Friday,plus we were “ going with the flow “.The Llangollen canal is a feeder for the reservoir at Hurleston and as a result there is a distinct flow on it.Westbound,this flow can slow a narrowboat quite a lot when negotiating narrow stretches like aqueducts,tunnels and bridgeholes.After mooring up we enjoyed a swift couple in The Telford Inn,which is alongside the basin here,and then had a quick look around the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal World Heritage Site.
Today we went into the Heritage Centre and walked around some more,particularly around the Aqueduct and also below it.I’ve always wanted to see it,close up,from a different perspective and today I got the chance.It’s a fantastic construction,built in 1805 by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and even though it is over 200 years old it still performs the task it was designed for.It is over 1000 feet long and sits on top of 19 stone pillars,126 feet above the River Dee.Some of the ironwork for it’s construction actually came from a nearby iron foundry that also supplied the gates for the Caledonian Canal.Sadly there are very few remains of the huge amount of industry that used to be here and what was the justification for a canal that would connect to the rest of the network and,therefore,a much wider market.
A different view of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and me posing.I was trying to look cool but believe me it wasn’t easy.
Well that’s all for this week.We are going to move on tomorrow and meander our way to Lower Frankton and the Montgomery Canal.since our last blog we have done 2 Locks and 36 miles,giving us a grand total of 216 Locks and 291 Miles since we set off in October.Take care everyone.