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Ellesmere Canal

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.

January 1791

William Turner

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

John Duncombe

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

Joseph Turner

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.

January 1792

John Duncombe

Assisted William Jessop in deciding on a line for the canal.

August 1792

William Jessop

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.

January 1793

Authorised by an Act.

January 1793

William Turner

Prepared plans and estimates for the aqueducts at Pontcysllte and pont faen, together with Arthur Davies and John Duncombe.

January 1793

Arthur Davies

Prepared plans and estimates for the aqueducts at Pontcysllte and pont faen, together with WilliamTurner and John Duncombe.

January 1793

John Duncombe

Prepared plans and estimates for the aqueducts at Pontcysllte and pont faen, together with WilliamTurner and Arthur Davies.

Early January 1793

Thomas Denson

Was assistant to John Duncombe, the engineer helping William Jessop with the canal.

February 1793

John Duncombe

Was appointed to assist William Jessop in the construction of the canal.

30th October 1793

Thomas Telford

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.

January 1795

The Chester to Ellesmere Port section completed.

14th July 1795

William Jessop

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.

August 1795

William Jessop

He approved Thomas Telford's plans for the revised line between Ruabon and Chester.

August 1795

Thomas Telford

William Jessop appoved his plans for the Ruabon to Chester line of the canal.

January 1800

William Jessop

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

John Rennie

He reported on the experimental boat lift that had been on trial on the canal.

January 1801

Chirk Aqueduct opened, 70 feet high.

January 1801

William Jessop

He left the post of consultant engineer.

January 1801

Thomas Denson

He was resident engineer for the canal.

January 1805

Pontcysylite Aqueduct - 121 feet above the River Dee. Opened.

January 1808

The navigable feeder from Trevor to the Dee at Llantisilo completed what is now the Llangollen Canal.

January 1819

George Watson Buck

Appointed engineer of the Eastern Branch.

March 1819

John Williams

The western line, which he built as resident engineer, was completed to Newtown, a distance of 7 miles 3 furlongs and with six locks.

January 1823

George Watson Buck

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.

December 1832

George Watson Buck

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.

December 1833

George Watson Buck

He left the company to become an assitant to Robert Stephenson, having had an interest in railways from the early days of steam.

January 1975

The Ellesmere and Llangollen Canal. An Historical Background by E A Wilson , Published by Phillimore & Co.

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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