While building the Shrewsbury Canal the cheif engineer Thomas Telford's first tasks was to rebuild a stone aqueduct over the River Tern at Longdon-on-Tern which had been swept away by floods in February 1795. Telford's stone-mason instincts initially led him to consider replacing the original structure by another stone-built aqueduct, but the heavy involvement of iron-masters – notably William Reynolds - in the Shrewsbury Canal Company led him to reconsider. Instead, it was rebuilt using a 62-yard cast iron trough cast in sections at Reynolds' Ketley ironworks and bolted together in 1796. The aqueduct – the world's first large-scale iron navigable aqueduct (narrowly predated by a much smaller 44ft-long structure by Benjamin Outram on the Derby Canal) - still stands today, but is marooned in the middle of a field.
By kjfitz @ 2006-10-21 23:56:19