Help protect Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

by CANAL & RIVER TRUST in Llangollen, Wrexham Principal Area, United Kingdom

Total raised £8,416

Gift Aid
+ est. £1454.00
£10,000 target 43 days left
84% 231 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 30th June 2024 at 11:59pm

Love this UNESCO World Heritage Site? Please donate now to help raise £10,000 to protect this marvel of the Industrial Revolution.



The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a feat of civil engineering of the Industrial Revolution. Affectionately known as the Ponty, it has earned international acclaim as the most captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the seven wonders of our waterways. 

This pioneering engineering masterpiece and monumental stone and metal architecture took over 10 years to finish, and it was completed in 1805 by visionaries William Jessop and Thomas Telford. The longest aqueduct in the UK, it stretches 307 metres long and soars 38 metres high above the stunning Dee Valley in Wales. 


Today, the aqueduct, managed by the Canal & River Trust, draws thousands of visitors each year. Large numbers rely on its structural integrity – from boaters, canoeists, and paddlers navigating the Llangollen Canal to walkers seeking a picturesque stroll on the towpath and family days out to our Trevor Basin Visitor Centre. It’s not just an iconic structure seamlessly integrating with its natural surroundings but a functional aqueduct supplying water to the Llangollen Canal. From trade and travel in the 19th century to becoming a tranquil waterway for leisure boating, it remains a living testament to the Industrial Revolution.

The aqueduct is situated near the towns of Llangollen, Trevor, Cefn Mawr, Froncysyllte & Chirk; visitors can also make a trip to other nearby local attractions, such as Plas Newydd (Llangollen), Erddig or Chirk Castle.

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Why is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct so important?

This iconic Welsh structure requires continual inspection and repair work. The passage of time and increasing popularity have taken a toll on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, demanding significant and regular attention – particularly caring for the critical components, such as the cast iron troughs, stone pillars, handrails, and the beams supporting the towpath.

Without intervention, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct risks losing some of its original charm and historical significance.


You can help protect a place that is special in the hearts of the local community but is also a cherished Welsh treasure, proud to be shared with millions nationally and visitors worldwide. Take pride in backing this magnificent engineering jewel. Your support ensures that this unique structure is kept in the best state for generations to come, a symbol of engineering brilliance at its finest.

What needs to be done?

Our experts periodically drain the canal water for extensive inspections and repairs to preserve the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct’s structural integrity and ensure its continued use. The process requires meticulous planning to minimise disruption and protect the ecosystem, including a fish rescue operation. We go above and beyond to safeguard aquatic habitats during our essential work as part of our commitment to protect wildlife.1710514004_ingeneere_collage_2m.pngWhile our work will focus on fixing the issues we know about, it’s also an opportunity to learn more about the structure and create more comprehensive and lasting solutions. Your support is crucial for immediate repairs and to address urgent needs that arise during the process to ensure the future of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  

We also need to enhance the towpath's surface and conduct essential works on the supports ('ledgers') to make this unique experience for walkers and cyclists even more captivating along this extraordinary towpath across the River Dee valley in North Wales.

The handrails and railing uprights on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct also require attention. Delicate work, performed by highly skilled blacksmiths, is essential to maintain their historical essence.

This ageing structure costs £150,000 a year to keep in the best condition for boats and people alike. This includes planned preventative work and routine inspections. Beyond these structural enhancements, our efforts to preserve this important piece of heritage piece also creates a sense of pride and engagement within the local community.

Our target

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of supporters who believe the UK's rich heritage is worth protecting. 

We need your help to raise £10,000 to accomplish the work needed in the next three months after the inspection works. This process will help preserve the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a historical gem that continues to inspire wonder and admiration. Your support keeps this ‘stream in the sky’ flowing for generations to come. 

As custodians, the Canal & River Trust relies on your help to preserve this ancient structure.


How will your gift help?

£25 - could help protect the fish in the canal during the inspection. The Fish Rescue operation costs £1,200 to ensure the well-being of the aquatic life in Pontcysyllte, preserve ecological balance, and safeguard biodiversity.

£50 - could contribute to renewing one square metre of the towpath. This enhances the aqueduct’s accessibility, enabling pedestrians and cyclists to have the best experience onsite and ensuring we can continue welcoming visitors.

£100 could go towards funding a highly skilled blacksmith and the time they spent restoring a section of the handrails, preserving the craftsmanship that defines Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

£500 – could fund the inspection and repair of two structures that support the towpath, called ledgers. These are critical sections of the aqueduct that sustain this unique towpath standing 38 metres high.

By contributing, you secure Pontcysyllte Aqueduct's legacy, ensuring accessibility and uninterrupted use for boaters and pedestrians alike. Let's preserve this Welsh engineering marvel, guaranteeing a memorable experience for locals and worldwide visitors who confirm their love of this attraction every year—a unique experience to share with the world and a remarkable connection to our industrial past.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

A 'Heritage Guardian' Certificate

A 'Heritage Guardian' Certificate to remind you how you’ve helped protect Pontcysyllte 'Ponty' Aqueduct.

£50 or more

Nature spotter's guide

Nature spotter's guide - Receive our nature spotter's guide for a family day out in the area.

£100 or more

'Special Mention' on our page’s top banner.

Your name will be featured on our campaign page's top banner, acknowledging your special contribution to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct's preservation.

£500 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Aqueduct Explorer Experience and Boat Trip X2

Enjoy an exclusive guided tour for two with our knowledgeable Volunteer Rangers at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This immersive experience includes a captivating show-and-tell session delving into the aqueduct's rich history and engineering marvels. Additionally, receive two boat trip tickets across the canal, providing unique perspectives of this iconic structure from the water. It's an unforgettable adventure combining education and exploration.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Your business's logo on the top banner of our page

Showcase your support for a great cause! Acquire our Corporate Reward for £1,000 and have your business's logo displayed on the top banner of our page.

Show your support

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