Aqueduct named as World Heritage Site

A 200-year-old aqueduct in North Wales has been named as Britain's newest World Heritage Site.

Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal, near Llangollen, was added to the prestigious list by officials at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) meeting in Seville, Spain, this weekend.

Pontcysyllte, built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop between 1795 and 1805, is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.

Heritage lovers have campaigned for more than six years to have the aqueduct recognised alongside the world's best known cultural and historical sites.

Dr Dawn Roberts, economic development manager for Wrexham Council, said World Heritage status is a "badge of honour" for Pontcysyllte.

She said: "We are absolutely over the moon. 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 is regarded as one of Telford's greatest civil engineering achievements.

He designed a cast iron trough for the canal and laid it along the top of 18 stone piers to carry the waterway 126ft above the River Dee.

It joins the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and Stonehenge on the World Heritage list.

Dr Roberts added: "World Heritage status does not bring with it any prize or money, it is more of a badge of honour.

"It is an awesome sight and one of those sites in the world we feel people must visit."

Around 16,000 canal boats cross the aqueduct each year. Pontcysyllte was Britain's only nomination at the 33rd session of Unesco's World Heritage Committee.

The list currently features around 900 properties deemed to have "outstanding universal value" for humanity.

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

Alun Ffred Jones, the Welsh Assembly's minister for heritage said: "The Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal is a magnificent example of Wales's heritage in action.

"Having World Heritage status for this site will not only boost the economic and tourism potential of north-east Wales, but also deliver world-wide recognition for the built heritage of the area and ensure the Aqueduct's protection and conservation for future generations.

Barbara Follett, UK minister for culture and tourism, said: "I am sure that its inscription as a World Heritage Site will provide a well-deserved boost to the area."

Julie Sharman, general manager for British Waterways Wales and Border Counties, said World Heritage status would bring "increased economic prosperity to local communities".

Councillor Aled Roberts, leader of Wrexham County Council, said: "Pontcysyllte aqueduct is a major part of our heritage and regarded very fondly by local residents."

Pontcysyllte aqueduct and canal is the third Unesco World Heritage site in Wales. The other two are Blaenavon Industrial Landscape and the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.

Pontcysyllte is the 28th World Heritage inscribed site in the UK.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own