Where Does It Go?

We have seen that water enters the canal system at the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen and flows along the canal, via aqueducts and tunnels to Shropshire.  But where does it go then?

Use Google maps to pick up the line of the canal where it crosses the aqueduct at Chirk to enter England and follow the canal towards the south and east.  (If you find yourself at Llangollen, you went the wrong way!)

When you get to Lower Frankton you will find a junction.  Some of the water branches off into the Montgomery Canal.  A short way along there are locks.  These days the Montgomery Canal is largely unused but in the past it was a thriving trade route and the water flowing through the locks enabled boats to move from the Montgomery Canal to the higher level of the Llangollen Canal.  At the junction they turned right.

Continue along the canal.

The next locks are at Grindley Brook, with the canal descending several steps and after that the locks come in steady succession as the level of the canal descends to the Cheshire Plain.

At Hurleston Junction the water flows into the main Shropshire Union Canal and the flow turns left.  If you turned right here, you would start to go uphill against the flow, and the water for that part of the canal system doesn’t come from Llangollen.

So, let’s stick with the flow that we are following and turn left.  Follow the canal and you should reach the city of Chester.  But keep going until you get to Ellesmere Port.  Here our relatively small canal reaches the huge Manchester ship canal.

And notice the name – Ellesmere Port was a port – a place for loading and unloading.  Limestone, coal and sand came from the England-Wales borderlands, via the canal, and was transferred to ships heading out to sea or inland along the larger ship canal to the city of Manchester. 

Ships coming in from overseas also off-loaded cargo and the empty canal boats were loaded with Canadian grain to be delivered to mills inland along the canal.