4th June 2012
Having journeyed through Wales via Cardiff and Swansea, up to Aberystwyth and Bangor, while taking in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Pembrokeshire Coast and journeyed up to the highest point on its route, Snowdon in North Wales, the Olympic torch headed for Chester on 29 May.
It then crossed the border again the next day and visited north-east Wales and Welshpool. On this final day in Wales, the torch was carried on a hand-drawn boat across the stunning Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, one of Wales’s World Heritage sites.
World Heritage sites are world-class places of outstanding universal value, encouraging countries to ensure the protection of their own natural and cultural heritage.
Over 200 years after completion, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen and Chirk and to the north of Oswestry was granted World Heritage status in 2009. Built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop between 1795 and 1805, the aqueduct stands majestically at the foot of the Horseshoe Pass, 3 miles east of Llangollen, crossing over the River Dee at 126 feet. Over 1000 feet long, Pontcysyllte is the longest and highest cast-iron aqueduct in the world and is still used for its original purpose, being crossed by more than 1000 canal boats each year.
Wales’s other World Heritage sites are the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd, a must for visitors to Snowdonia, the Barmouth and Harlech area and Anglesey, and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape near Abergavenny. The area around Blaenavon contains remarkably complete, well-preserved evidence of the coal mining and iron making industries, which led to the world’s first Industrial Revolution.