06 June 2010

Ceiriog Engineering Feats

Chirk Aqueduct, built by Thomas Telford and opened in 1801, carries the 46 mile Llangollen Canal over the River Ceiriog. It's an impressive structure, 70 feet high and of ten spans. Beside it, also of ten principal spans but 30 feet higher, supposedly to demonstrate the supremacy of rail over water, is Henry Robertson's railway viaduct, completed in 1848. Beyond the aqueduct is Chirk Tunnel, 460 yards long and as black within as the hole of Calcutta. A basin and wharf lies between these two engineering marvels. The tunnel was demanded by the owners of Chirk Castle, the Myddeltons, who didn't want their views intruded upon by a canal embankment. There is a worn example of the Myddelton coat of arms on an old gate pier in the woods.

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