Ffrwd Folly?

Living History: NarrowBoat, Spring 2007

Richard Dean

Richard Dean investigates whether an isolated fragment of the Ellesmere Canal was ever used by boats

The complex history of the Ellesmere Canal was outlined in the Historical Profile in the Summer 2006 issue of Narrowboat. The subseqent letter in the Winter issue made me look in more detail at one abortive part of the scheme, the remains of which can still be found. The main line of the Ellesmere Canal, as deviated by their May 1796 Act, was to leave the River Dee at Chester opposite the junction of the Wirral Line from Ellesmere Port. It was to run southwards over the flat lands to Marford where a long flight of locks up the Alyn Valley would bring it to the summit level at Stansty, 11/2 miles NW of Wrexham. The 7-mile summit, at 386ft above sea level, and the rest of the canal either side of it, needed a reliable supply of water. A feeder branch from here over five miles long was authorised, with a 200-acre reservoir between Llanfynydd and Coed Talon, held up by a dam along Offa’s Dyke. It was the intention to make at least part of this branch navigable to serve local industr…

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