SO7778 : Elan Valley Aqueduct crossing the River Severn

taken 1 year ago, near to Trimpley, Worcestershire, Great Britain

Elan Valley Aqueduct crossing the River Severn
Elan Valley Aqueduct crossing the River Severn
Elan Valley Aqueduct

A 73 mile/117km aqueduct built between 1896 and 1904 connecting the Elan Valley Reservoirs near Rhayader with Frankley Reservoir on the outskirts of Birmingham. The engineer was James Mansergh. It operates by gravity, with a net fall of around 170 feet/50m, giving an average gradient over the length of 1 in 2300. The flow speed is 2mph/3 kph. Rivers and valleys are crossed by bridged aqueducts, using inverted siphons to lose and regain height for the larger drops, with a siphon house at either end and wash-out valves to allow sediment to be removed. Most of the aqueduct was built using the cut and cover method, but there are 15 bored tunnels totalling almost 13 miles/21 km, the longest, Dolau Tunnel, being over 4 miles long (almost 7 km). Initially there were two pipes, each of 42 inch diameter, with two more (of 60 inch diameter) added between 1919 and 1961. Between 2015 and 2019, three new bored sections were built at Nantmel, Bleddfa and Knighton to provide a diversion for their respective sections which had become worn out.

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The River Severn

The River Severn is the longest river in Britain, at about 354 kilometres (220 miles). Its source is on Plynlimon near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains. It then flows through Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. The Severn is the greatest river in terms of water flow in England and Wales.

North Worcestershire Path

The North Worcestershire Path was created in the 1980's and is a relatively short long distance path. Originally it ran 27 miles (43 km) from the Kingsford Country Park near Kinver to Majors Green (near Shirley) on the outskirts of Birmingham. At some point after 1997 the route was altered and this resulted in an extra ten miles being added at the beginning. So it now starts in the town of Bewdley but still passes through Kingsford Country Park. This makes a lot of sense and adds a lot of interest to the walk but not everybody has woken up to the fact that it has been extended, so a lot of the information around, particularly on the internet, is out of date. When I ordered a small booklet from Worcestershire County Council in January 2015 I received an edition dating from August 1997 which makes no mention of the extension. I subsequently found that a later edition with the extended route was on sale in some bookshops. If, as recommended, you do the walk in short sections, then at some places car parking can be a real problem and you may find you need to park some distance from the walk. I canít really recommend reliance on public transport, at least for the earlier part of the route, as the bus services either donít exist or are infrequent. Recently they have got even worse. There are some sections of the walk which use public roads.

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SO7778, 206 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 5 July, 2020   (more nearby)
Monday, 27 July, 2020
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Paths  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Water resources 
River (from Tags)
River Severn 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 774 781 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:24.0645N 2:19.9364W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 774 781
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Other Tags
Aqueduct  North Worcestershire Path 

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Image Type (about): close look 
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