Clydach Aqueduct

Swansea

Clydach Aqueduct

Historical Feature

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The Aqueduct at Clydach is an historically interesting and picturesque feature with easy access for walkers and cyclists from the town.

The Swansea Canal runs over the aqueduct at Clydach. The Cannal was constructed by the Swansea Canal Navigation Company between 1794 and 1798, measuring 16 miles in length and running from Swansea to Hen Neuadd, Abercraf in South Wales. Swansea Canal was constructed to transport coal from the upper Swansea Valley to Swansea docks for export, and there were originally 36 locks to raise it from sea level at Swansea, to 375 feet at Abercraf, with aqueducts at Clydach, Pontardawe, Ynysmeudwy, Ystalyfera, and Cwmgiedd to carry the canal across major rivers.

In-filling of much of the canal has taken place in the past 50 years, particularly the northern section to create a new road around Ystradgynlais. Just five miles of the canal remains in water, from Clydach to Pontardawe where it is now a popular trail and is part of the route 43 of the National Cycle Network.

The canal empties from a viaduct into the Clydach River at the point where it joins the River Tawe. A project is underway to dredge the canal and to remove the Japanese knotweed that grows extensively around the area. The canal is an important habitat for water birds who mainly feed on the eels that live there.

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