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Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal – Facts and Figures

While the outstanding feature of the World Heritage Site is undoubtedly Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the site is 11 miles (18 kilometres) long, from Gledrid Bridge near Rhoswiel to the Horseshoe Falls.

10.5 miles (17 kilometres) lie within Wales and the remaining 0.5 miles (1 kilometre) in England. Excluding the land which provides the immediate setting of the three key features (Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Chirk Aqueduct and the Horseshoe Falls), some 95% of the site is owned by British Waterways.

UNESCO requires that both the site and its setting are protected from any development deemed harmful to the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’. To do this many World Heritage Sites have an agreed buffer zone designated around them and this is the case for Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal.

The buffer zone takes in land around the Horseshoe Falls and most of the Dee Valley downstream, stretching right up to the ridgelines on both sides of the valley. The majority of this area is already designated as a special Historic Landscape area.

Where there is no longer a ridgeline as the topography changes beyond Froncysyllte, a corridor of land either side of the canal has been identified by landscape planners from the respective councils. The buffer zone is most complex at Cefn Mawr, where a combination of landscape planning and industrial archaeology has been used to draw the boundary line.