Sunday, 3 July 2011

The end of the beginning

The Llangollen canal basin isn't quite the end of the canal; the last two miles are only navigable either by one of the horse-drawn trip boats or on foot.
The real end - or to be more accurate, the real beginning - is an anonymous looking stone shed from beneath which gurgles the canal's feed from the River Dee. The shed houses a pump which now pushes thousands of gallons of water daily down the canal to a huge reservoir at Hurleston down at the far end.
Beyond the pump house is another of Telford's master strokes, a semi-circular weir which he built to corral the waters of the Dee and separate enough to feed his fledgling canal. Too much, according to local millers, whose river powered mills struggled with the sudden drop in water supplies.

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