This scenic walk is located on the England–Wales border, between Oswestry and Welshpool.
This walk has a typical rural towpath, a narrow path on grass.
At Williams Bridge, where the B4398 crosses the line of the canal, there are a few spaces for cars to park.
Toilet facilities are available at Heritage Centre when open.
Vyrnwy Aqueduct and Carreghofa Walk Map
Begin The Walk
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.
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.
Britain's waterways are vital; together we can campaign for them now and for the future.
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