Completed in 1808, Thomas Telford designed this elegant 140m horseshoe-shaped weir to divert water from the River Dee into what is the beginning of the Llangollen Canal. It’s an impressive piece of engineering, but what makes it so remarkable is that for all its industrial purpose, it enhances the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Did You Know?
There are gently sloping meadows on either side of the falls, dotted with ancient trees and livestock, where generations of people have come to enjoy the views and picnic.
With the decline in the use of canals for commercial traffic, many fell into disrepair and were lost. The survival of the Llangollen Canal is due to the water drawn from the River Dee at Horseshoe Falls not only feeding the further network of canals, but also supplying water to Cheshire – as it still does today. In 2009 UNESCO designated Horseshoe Falls as part of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.
You can cross the channel at the Meter House which regulates over 12 million gallons of water drawn to the canal every day. Travel along the canal towpath into Llangollen less than two miles away, from there you can continue exploring the World Heritage Site by taking a leisurely canal boat from Llangollen Wharf and across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – the most popular canal journey in Britain.