Aqueduct panel reveals history of Telford’s masterpiece

FASCINATING canal history is revealed in new interpretation panels installed next to Thomas Telford’s historic aqueduct known as ‘The Gateway to Nantwich’.

The Canal & River Trust has been joined by Nantwich Museum and Nantwich Partnership to create the panels, which tell the story of the Shropshire Union Canal and Telford’s iconic aqueduct, which carries the canal over the A534 Nantwich to Chester Road.

Constructed in 1828, the famous cast iron trough aqueduct is designated a Grade II listed structure. In 2015 it was secured for the next generation after a major £200,000 restoration funded by CRT, Cheshire East Council, Nantwich Town Council, Acton, Edleston & Henhull Parish Council and Nantwich Partnership. Restoration work involved repairs to the supporting masonry and cast iron parapet railings, brickwork repairs and repointing. The structure was also repainted.

This new interpretation panel, coupled with recent improvements to a nearby canalside playground, are part of a partnership initiative to promote tourism and boost investment in the picturesque Cheshire market town.

Sarah Lalieu, enterprise manager with CRT, said: “We hope local residents and visitors alike will enjoy discovering more about the fascinating history behind Thomas Telford and his engineering masterpiece in Nantwich.

“The aqueduct is a perfect example of that golden age of canal building during the Industrial Revolution. History is all around us here and visitors will even be able to find rope marks left in the ironwork by the hundreds of horse-drawn boats who once plied their trade along ‘The Shroppie’.”