Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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Description: A canal that was never wholly completed the two major sections now being part of the Shropshire Union Canal.
History: Authorised by an Act of 1793, the Chester to Ellesmere Port section completed in 1795, and the navigable feeder from Trevor to the Dee at Llantisilo completed what is now the Llangollen Canal in 1808.
At a meeting on 31st August he suggested an alternative line for the canal which would make use of the Chester Canal and then cut westwards near Whitchurch. Later that year he became one of William Jessop's assistants on the canal.
31st August 1791
At a meeting at the Royal Oak in Ellesmere the estimate he produced with Joseph Turner was presented. They estimated £67,456 for the main line from Netherpool on the Mersey to the River Dee then on to Overton and Shrewsbury. Branches to Llangollen, Bersham and Llanmynech brought the total to £171,098.
31st August 1791
At a meeting at the Royal Oak in Ellesmere the estimate he produced with John Duncombe was presented. They estimated £67,456 for the main line from Netherpool on the Mersey to the River Dee then on to Overton and Shrewsbury. Branches to Llangollen, Bersham and Llanmynech brought the total to £171,098.
Assisted William Jessop in deciding on a line for the canal.
He was called in because the company wanted "as engineer of approved character and experience" to consult and he recommended the original western route for the canal. However he did suggests some changes including a higher aqueduct at Pontcysllte to reduce the length of the proposed 4,607-yard tunnel at Ruabon. His estimate for the main line was £179,898 plus £17,000 for branches at Holt and Llanymynech.
Authorised by an Act.
Prepared plans and estimates for the aqueducts at Pontcysllte and pont faen, together with Arthur Davies and John Duncombe.
Prepared plans and estimates for the aqueducts at Pontcysllte and pont faen, together with WilliamTurner and John Duncombe.
Prepared plans and estimates for the aqueducts at Pontcysllte and pont faen, together with WilliamTurner and Arthur Davies.
Early January 1793
Was assistant to John Duncombe, the engineer helping William Jessop with the canal.
Was appointed to assist William Jessop in the construction of the canal.
30th October 1793
Made General Agent, Surveyor, Engineer, Architect and Overlooker of Works for the canal which had just been authorised at a salary of £300 a year. This was a pat-time post under William Jessop, the Principal Engineer. He retained his post as Surveyor of Public Works for the County of Shropshire.
The Chester to Ellesmere Port section completed.
14th July 1795
He recommends that the company abandon the locks which were planned at each end of Pontcysllte Aqueduct and instead build an iron aqueduct at the height of 125 feet above the River Dee. He also recommends iron for the other aqueduct at Pont-faen saying in might the be possible to move the crossing to Chirk, which proved true.
He approved Thomas Telford's plans for the revised line between Ruabon and Chester.
William Jessop appoved his plans for the Ruabon to Chester line of the canal.
In his report for the year he says it "wholly inadvisable to execute a Canal between Pontycysyllte and Chester" partly because of the opening of new collieries and a reduction in the price of coal at Chester.
Before April 1800
He reported on the experimental boat lift that had been on trial on the canal.
Chirk Aqueduct opened, 70 feet high.
He left the post of consultant engineer.
He was resident engineer for the canal.
Pontcysylite Aqueduct - 121 feet above the River Dee. Opened.
The navigable feeder from Trevor to the Dee at Llantisilo completed what is now the Llangollen Canal.
Appointed engineer of the Eastern Branch.
The western line, which he built as resident engineer, was completed to Newtown, a distance of 7 miles 3 furlongs and with six locks.
Carried out extensive repairs on the Vyrnwy Aqeduct that had every arch fractued due to it originally being constucted from sub-standard materials. It was strengthened using iron bands.
Was appointed as clerk and engineer of the Western Branch of the canal with instructions to investigate the accounts. He previously worked on the Eastern Branch.
He left the company to become an assitant to Robert Stephenson, having had an interest in railways from the early days of steam.
The Ellesmere and Llangollen Canal. An Historical Background by E A Wilson , Published by Phillimore & Co.