What to see in Wales
Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
Gwynedd, North Wales
The castles of Beaumaris and Harlech (largely the work of the greatest military engineer of the time, James of St George) and the fortified complexes of Caernarfon and Conwy are located in the former principality of Gwynedd, in north Wales. These extremely well-preserved monuments are examples of the colonization and defence works carried out throughout the reign of Edward I (1272–1307) and the military architecture of the time.
Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct is one of the world's most renowned and spectacular achievements of waterways engineering. Built as part of the improvement of transport to provide the arteries of industrialisation, the structure was a pioneer of cast iron construction and was the highest canal aqueduct ever built. As such, it is one of the heroic monuments which symbolise the world's first Industrial Revolution and its transformation of technology.
The aqueduct was built between 1795 and 1805 to carry the Ellesmere Canal over the Dee valley in North Wales. The approaching levels of the canal on either side required a crossing at 38m above the River Dee. An earlier plan to carry the canal lower by incorporating locks on either side of the valley was rejected as impractical in its water consumption, and the decision was taken to build an aqueduct of unprecedented height. The resident surveyor responsible was Thomas Telford, working under William Jessop, the most prolific canal engineer of the period.
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