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Embanked aqueduct over road to W of Parish Church (including attached flights of steps &road tunnel)

A Grade II Listed Building in Govilon, Monmouthshire

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Latitude: 51.8183 / 51°49'5"N

Longitude: -3.0693 / 3°4'9"W

OS Eastings: 326390

OS Northings: 213840

OS Grid: SO263138

Mapcode National: GBR F3.WP92

Mapcode Global: VH795.RK7F

Entry Name: Embanked aqueduct over road to W of Parish Church (including attached flights of steps &road tunnel)

Listing Date: 15 March 1996

Last Amended: 15 March 1996

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 17255

Building Class: Transport

Location: Uphill and to the west of Govilon Parish Church and carrying the canal over the by-road that climbs the lower slopes of the Blorenge towards Twyn Allws.

County: Monmouthshire

Community: Llanfoist Fawr (Llan-ffwyst Fawr)

Community: Llanfoist Fawr

Locality: Govilon

Built-Up Area: Govilon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History: The Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal was promoted in 1792 to connect the upper Usk valley to the Monmouthshire Canal at Pontymoile and from there to the sea at Newport. Construction began in 1797, with Thomas Dadford as engineer, and the first section, from Gilwern to Llangynidr was completed in that year with the stretch as far as Brecon following in 1800. Work then stopped for a time with the result that the section to the Blaenavon Road east of Govilon was not completed until 1805, now with Thomas Cartwright as engineer. Further funds had to be raised and the last section from west of Llanfoist to Pontymoile was completed between 1809 and 1812, with William Crosley as engineer. Linked to tramroads, the canal was an important artery for trade in iron, limeand coal. In 1865 the Monmouthshire and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal Companies merged becoming the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Company. Later still the canal was bought out by the Great Western Railway and gradually the canal was run down until it was finally abandoned in 1962. Restoration work was begun in 1964 and is still ongoing.

Description: This aqueduct is within the section completed in 1805 under Thomas Cartwright. Coursed rubble masonry revetments with semicircular arches to either end of tunnel through which the road passes under the canal with a headroom of only 1.75metres (approx.). Voussoirs and keystone as on other canal bridges. Flat parapets. Despite the length of the road tunnel, which has a semicircular masonry soffit, the canal itself narrows across the embanked aqueduct. The road level rises through the tunnel. At either end on the east side is a steep and narrow flight of stone steps that turns upwards from the road to reach the towpath on north side and the canal bank to south; some treads repaired in timber to north.

Listed for its special interest as an important surviving engineering feature on the early C19 canal.

References: Nicholson's guides to the Waterways, vol 3, South-west
p49-55, (n.d.).
R A Stevens, Brecknock & Abergavenny and Monmouthshire Canals (Towpath Guide No 2), (Cambridge, 1974), p50.

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