PONTCYSYLLTE Aqueduct has re-opened to the public after undergoing a major health check.

The World Heritage Site was drained for the first time in two decades as part of a major project by the Canal and River Trust. 

Engineers from national waterways charity Canal & River Trust completely emptied Pontcysyllte Aqueduct of water to check that the 307m-long structure, built to carry the Llangollen Canal across the Dee Valley 38m below, is in good working order.

The work took about two-and-a-half months. 

A spokesperson from Canal & River Trust said: “Pontcysyllte Aqueduct reopened to the public as scheduled on Friday, March 15 after our winter inspection and conservation work.

“We are grateful for everyone’s support and patience and look forward to seeing people back on the canal and enjoying all the benefits of this truly incredible structure.”

Sally Boddy, Canal and River Trust engineer, said: “It’s the engineer's job to be the voice of the aqueduct, to spot any things that might be causing it damage or may need fixing in years ahead. Draining Pontcysyllte Aqueduct for inspection helps us to make sure it is in good condition and to plan any future works that will need doing.

“It’s a privilege to work on such an iconic structure and see the handiwork of the canal engineers who built it over two centuries ago. The work we carried out is part of that great legacy and will help Pontcysyllte continue to stand strong."

Trevor Basin Visitor Centre posted on social media on Monday (March 18) that it was "great to be back".

They said: "Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is open as usual and we’ve already seen hundreds of visitors from far and wide."

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, nicknamed the ‘stream in the sky’, was built in 1805 by pioneering canal engineer Thomas Telford, and was granted World Heritage Status in 2009. The historic structure attracts thousands of visitors every year. 

Formed of a cast iron trough, supported by iron arched ribs and carried on 18 stone pillars, the aqueduct boasts more than 11,000 bolts. 

The Canal & River Trust had to raise more than £185,000 to carry out the works at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A crowd funding campaign, with a target of £10,000, was launched to raise money to support the works. The ageing structure costs £150,000 a year to keep in the best condition for boats and visitors. 


From March 29 until October 31, ‘Little Star’ (‘Seren Fach’) will be offering daily skippered narrowboat trips. 

Over the Easter weekend, the Easter Bunny will join cruises and offer chocolate treats to children.

Trips depart daily at 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen. Visit https://www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star for more information. 

The 45-minute return trips take visitors along the Llangollen Canal and across the 38-metre high aqueduct, to experience views across the Dee Valley.