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Brecon and
Abergavenny Canal
 
  Locks, aqueducts, and a tunnel  
 

Perhaps the most interesting surviving features of canals are the locks, (where sections of the waterway at different heights are connected) and aqueducts (where the canal is carried over rivers or valleys).

  The Brecon and Abergavenny Canal is just over 33 miles [53km] long, but it was built by following the shape of the land where possible, so that only six locks were needed. Although this made the canal longer it saved on the cost of building locks and also reduced delays to boat traffic. Lock at Llangynidr

Aqueduct
over the
River Usk
at Brynich

Aqueduct at Brynich One of the set of five of these locks at Aqueduct on 1888 map Llangynidr is shown in the fairly recent photograph above. A 23 mile [37km] section of the canal stayed on one level, even though it passes through very hilly countryside.
There is an impressive four-arch aqueduct where the canal passes over the River Usk at Brynich, just below Brecon. It is shown in the old photograph on the left and on the 1888 map section on the right.
 

The line of the canal also features another aqueduct at Gilwern, which has only a single arch but is very high. This was part of a large embankment which crossed over the River Clydach and one of the early tramroads.
A tunnel was also built near Talybont, the
375 yards [343m] long Ashford Tunnel, which was only wide enough for a canal boat. The towing horse had to be led over the hill and the boat would be poled or 'legged' through the tunnel by men pushing against the walls.

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Canal boat in tunnel
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