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British Industrial History

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Slateford Aqueduct, Edinburgh

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JD Slateford4.jpg
JD Slateford3.jpg
Sluice gates, which discharge into the Water of Leith (see next photo)
Slateford railway aqueduct in background
Note the distinction between coarse and finely-dressed masonry
Showing the short cast iron panels, bolted together to form the trough

in Slateford, in the western suburbs of Edinburgh.

It was constructed between 1819–22 by Craven, Whitaker and Nowell, with Hugh Baird as the Engineer, with advice from Thomas Telford[1]. One source states that the castings for the iron troughs of the Avon and Slateford aqueducts were supplied by Mr. Anderson's Leith Walk Foundry. [2]

It has eight arches, is 600 feet (180 m) long and 60 feet (18 m) tall, and carries the Union Canal across Inglis Green Road and the Water of Leith at Longstone (just at the edge of Slateford) in south-west Edinburgh. The use of a cast iron trough avoided the need for a deep layer of puddle clay, which in turn allowed a considerable reduction in the amount of masonry required. This, and similar aqueducts on the Union Canal, were no doubt inspired by the Chirk Aqueduct.

The canal runs over a contour line of 73m and is very popular with cyclists and walkers (visiting is best done outside the bicycle commuting rush hours, on account of the narrow towpath!).

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Edinburgh, Union Canal, Slateford Aqueduct: Canmore webpages
  2. [2] The Millennium Link: The Rehabilitation of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, edited by George Fleming, I.C.E., 2000