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Vyrnwy Aqueduct and Carreghofa Walk

A delightful walk beside arguably the most beautiful section of the Montgomery Canal, including its biggest engineering structure and other fascinating historical features

Walk

Branch
IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch
Location

Llanymynech

Distance

1.6km (1 mile)

Ease

Leisurely

activity image

This scenic walk is located on the England–Wales border, between Oswestry and Welshpool.

Walk Details

Surface

This walk has a typical rural towpath, a narrow path on grass.

Parking

At Williams Bridge, where the B4398 crosses the line of the canal, there are a few spaces for cars to park.

Toilets

Toilet facilities are available at Heritage Centre when open.

Vyrnwy Aqueduct and Carreghofa Walk Map

Find directions to the Activity

Begin The Walk

1. Carreghofa

After parking at Williams Bridge, walk south to the Aqueduct and a little beyond, then return and go north to Carreghofa. 

 

2. The Montgomeryshire Canal

The Montgomeryshire Canal was a locally-financed canal built primarily to convey limestone from Llanymynech and coal from Chirk and Morda to limekilns along its route.  Most of the settlements on the Montgomeryshire Canal had limekilns.   The quicklime made in them was used on the land to improve agricultural yields and also in making mortar for the building industry.

3. Just beyond the aqueduct

Newbridge wharf, a former coal wharf, is on the opposite side to the towpath at the southern end of the Vyrnwy Aqueduct.

4. The crossing of the River Vyrnwy

The River Vyrnwy joins the river Severn four miles to the east.

This section of the Montgomeryshire Canal has the greatest concentration in Western Europe of floating water plantain (Luronium natans), an internationally rare plant.

 

5. Carreghofa Locks

Carreghofa Locks have the distinctive Montgomeryshire Canal paddle gear designed by George Buck.  Although padlocked, it still works, though it gives fast and turbulent water flows which are potentially dangerous for inexperienced users.  The locks were restored by volunteers and were reopened in 1986.

6. Llanymynech

Limestone from the quarries in the hill above was brought by tramroads to Llanymynech wharf then loaded into boats to be taken to kilns along both the Ellesmere and Montgomeryshire Canals.  Limestone was also transported to ironworks including, after the opening of the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal, to the east Shropshire industrial area.

The railway arrived in Llanymynech in 1860.  A long siding was built to a large top-fed lime kiln, and towards the end of the 19th century the Warren kiln (a continuously burning kiln) was constructed.  Railway competition severely hit the canal’s limestone trade, and the tramroads were both closed by 1899.

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