Located in Wrexham, Wales, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a fully-navigable historic aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal near the River Dee, preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and operated a living history museum site offering aqueduct rides and self-guided walking tours.
The idea for the construction of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct dates back to the end of the 18th century, with the approval of a plan to create a series of canal locks along the valley embankment near the Ellesmere Canal and River Dee. The aqueduct takes its name from the Welsh word pontcysyllte, which was used as a designation to name the bridge near the township of Cysyllte linking the village of Froncysyllte and the parishes of Trefor Isaf and Llangollen. The Welsh naming is often colloquially mistranslated as “bridge of the junction” or “the bridge that links,” though both are etymological conflations of the similar term cysylltiadau, meaning links or connections. The aqueduct’s design is credited to William Jessop and Thomas Telford, the latter of whom would go on to earn a reputation as one of Britain’s most prominent industrial civil engineers throughout the 19th century.