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Ellesmere Wharf & the Llangollen Canal Walk

A short walk from the end of the Ellesmere Canal arm to opposite the historic canal workshops.





1.6km (1 mile)



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This walk along the Ellesmere Arm of the Shropshire Union Canal, features the historic Ellesmere Wharf and a crane, which have been the subject of campaigning by IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch.

Walk along the arm to see the former administrative headquarters of the Ellesmere Canal Company and a rare survival of an early 19th century workshop complex.


Walk Details


This walks terrain is good in all weathers.


The walk starts in the square at the end of Wharf Road, Ellesmere. [SJ399346]


There is parking available in the town centre or at the Tesco store. Postcode: SY12 0GD.


Ellesmere Wharf & the Llangollen Canal Walk Map

Find directions to the Activity

Begin The Walk

1. Wharf Road

The walk starts in the square at the end of Wharf Road, Ellesmere.

The brick warehouse dates from the second half of the 19th century and retains its ‘Shropshire Union’ lettering. The wharf building is a heritage structure under threat. The local branch has campaigned for a number of years for the building to be preserved.

From here you will see the Ellesmere Arm.

2. Ellesmere Wharf

The crane at the end of the canal arm is a typical London & North Western Railway goods yard crane, made at its Crewe works. The crane has been recently refurbished and reinstalled, thanks to lobbying by the local IWA branch.

To the south of where Tesco’s store now stands was the most significant of the canalside industries: William Clay’s Bridgewater Foundry. This made iron and brass products, mainly for the agricultural industry but also the castings required by the canal company.

To the south of the foundry was the gas works, built in 1832.  Opposite the gas works was the coal wharf.

3. The junction with the main line

Follow the towpath along the canal arm until you reach the junction with the main line of the Shropshire Union Canal.

On the east side of the canal arm, just to the north of the footbridge, was a boat-building yard.

4. Ellesmere Office & Depot

Continue along the towpath to the right to see the canal office and depot. The canal office (later known as Beech House) was built in 1805–6 as the administrative headquarters of the Ellesmere Canal Company, the committee room being in the semi-circular wing at the end of the building.

Ellesmere Depot can be viewed from the towpath opposite. It is a rare survival of an early 19th century workshop complex, extended in the middle of the century.  The depot is still in active use today, though lock gates and other large items are now made elsewhere. One room includes wooden patterns for ironwork, many of the patterns being over 100 years old.   It is open to the public only on special occasions, such as the Heritage Open Days each autumn.


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