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Leominster canal aqueduct collapses

The Rea Aqueduct, on the disused Kington, Leominster and Stourport Canal, has suffered a major partial collapse. The towpath on the aqueduct constitutes a public right-of-way over the River Rea and the footpath has been officially closed. 

Designed by Thomas Dadford Junior and built in 1792-3, the Rea Aqueduct all-brick single arch span ( 13.7m) was the largest of its time. Despite John Rennie’s critical comments on its design in his 1795 survey, and showing increasing signs of weathering in recent years, it has survived for over 200 years.

The collapsed is centred on its brick-lined canal trough, which has now revealed long-hidden construction secrets. Since 2000, the Rea Aqueduct has been a Grade 2-listed structure and its fate will now be decided by English Heritage in conjunction with Worcestershire and Shropshire County Councils. Although Worcestershire have placed the closure notice the aqueduct sits on the border between the two counties and Shropshire is also therefore involved. This involvement of two councils is likely to delay decision on its future. 

David Slater

Tuesday 19 February  | Andrew Denny  | 3.13pm, Tuesday 19 February 2013


Astonishing that it lasted 200 years. Far too much mud between the bottom of the canal and the top of the inadequate brick arch. John Rennie was right.

John Band  | 3.50AM, Wednesday 20 February

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