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.
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.
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