A LUMINAIRE of iconic structures along the eleven-mile corridor of the Dee Valley’s World Heritage site near Llangollen [North East Wales] is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the area this month.


The event runs from 7-27 October and marks the 10-year anniversary since Thomas Telford’s breath-taking nineteenth century Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at Trevor Basin was given the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2009.


It also coincides with the hosting of the UKs World Heritage Annual Conference and AGM in Llangollen, entitled ‘Making The Most Of World Heritage’ on 7-8 October.


Each site is unique and is either graded, a scheduled monument or both and will be lit up by expert lighting company Enlightened of Bristol for two hours each evening from 7.30pm – 9.30pm.


The sites to be lit up are as follows:


Aqueduct, Chirk (Grade II Scheduled Monument)

Viaduct, Chirk (Grade II)

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Trevor (Grade I Scheduled Monument)

Dinas Bran Castle, Llangollen (Scheduled Monument)

Horseshoe Falls, Llangollen (Grade II)


Organisers believe the spectacle, that places the 126ft structure at the centre of the celebrations, will come to life under the cover of darkness and encourage locals and tourists to explore the five structures along the stretch of the Llangollen Canal from Llangollen to Chirk, within the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It is intended to extend the length of the 2019 tourism season to boost the local economy of the area.


Wrexham County Borough Councillor Terry Evans, Executive Lead Member and member of the World Heritage Status Board said: “I am looking forward to seeing the structures lit up, further highlighting that the World Heritage Site is an 11 mile corridor and encouraging people to visit more of it.  It is great that it will be over a three week period which will give more people the opportunity to visit and see it.”


Adnan Saif, regional director at Canal & River Trust said: “The Llangollen Canal is a beautiful waterway and is a lovely place to visit throughout the year. Research shows that being next to water makes you happier and healthier and this luminaire event will allow visitors to see the canal in a different light whilst helping to celebrate ten years since it became a World Heritage Site.”


Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this exciting project which is an excellent way of celebrating Pontcysyllte Aqueduct’s tenth anniversary as a World Heritage Site. This project is a great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership and how innovative ideas like this can help us make the most of our World Heritage Sites.”


This project would not have been possible without funding from Visit Wales and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and permission being granted from private landowners and also from Network Rail who have given their permission for the Chirk Viaduct to be lit up.


You can keep up to date on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct special events at its dedicated Facebook page or through Twitter or Instagram.




About the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and 11 mile Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site


(Pronounced – ‘Pont – ker – sulth  – tay  meaning ‘the bridge that joins’)


  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal became a World Heritage Site on 27 June, 2009.
  • The Pontcysyllte is a grade one listed building, a scheduled ancient monument and forms the centrepiece of the 11 mile World Heritage Site.
  • The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was constructed by Thomas Telford and William Jessop between 1796 and 1805 during the Industrial Revolution to enable slate and limestone to be moved from quarries in North Wales to the Midlands and beyond.
  • The aqueduct measures a record-breaking 1,000 ft (307m) long and at its highest point it is 126 ft (38.4m) above the River Dee.
  • A cast iron trough, which holds 330,000 gallons (1.5 million litres) of water, is 11ft wide and 5ft 3ins deep. It is emptied by pulling out a giant plug in the centre and takes two hours to drain.
  • There are 19 elegant arches and 18 slender sandstone piers, each with a 45ft span.


This event is organised by the charity, Canal & River Trust, Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wrexham County Borough Council and Denbighshire County Council as part of the Pontcysyllte aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site anniversary celebrations. This project has received funding via the Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) and supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government, the Fund to improve the visitor experience and create stronger destinations by working together. The project also benefitted from The National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Our Picturesque Landscape Project.


For more information about visiting the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal World Heritage, special events to mark 10 years since inscription or supporting these 200-year-old heritage structures by donating or volunteering with the Canal & River Trust, please go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.


The Canal & River Trust cares for and brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England & Wales. We believe waterways have the power to make a difference to people’s lives and that spending time by water can make us all healthier and happier. By brining communities together to make a difference to their local waterway, we are creating places and spaces that can be used and enjoyed by everyone, every day.