Monday, June 29, 2009

Pontcysyllte aqueduct

At last, some good news to comment on. The Pontcysyllte aqueduct has been given World Heritage status.

This is a magnificent piece of engineering, carrying the Llangollen canal over the valley of the River Dee. Built of cast iron and caulked with flannel dipped in boiling sugar and then sealed with lead!

The amazing thing is, as far as I am aware, this original and inventive caulking is still what holds the water in to this day, 204 years later.

Built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop it is over 1,000 feet long and stands on 120 foot tall masonry piers. Again, amazingly it is a mere 11 feet wide!

Some of today's engineers and architects would do well to take a leaf from their book and stop building concrete and glass horrors that might last 50 years.


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