Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,963 pages of information and 228,875 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Holmes Aqueduct

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in Derby


1796 'The weir across the river Derwent, and the cast-iron aqueduct in the Holmes, being finished, there remains but little to be done, 'ere the three branches of the navigation are united, and the public let into the full enjoyment of the numerous advantages which will result from this undertaking.'[1]

The 44 ft. long single-span aqueduct carried the Derby Canal over a mill leat. The aqueduct itself was later crossed by the Cattle Market Road cast iron bridge.[2]

1970 photos here and here

Designed by Benjamin Outram. It was the world's first navigable cast iron aqueduct, narrowly pre-dating Thomas Telford's 186 ft-long Longdon-on-Tern Aqueduct on the Shrewsbury Canal, (sometimes described as the world's first large-scale navigable cast iron aqueduct). The oldest currently navigable cast-iron aqueduct is Outram's Stakes Aqueduct (Stalybridge Aqueduct)[3]. The oldest surviving cast iron aqueduct is Pont-y-cafnau, but this was not navigable.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Derby Mercury - Thursday 18 February 1796
  2. [1] Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust - history webpage
  3. [2] Wikipedia entry for Navigable Aqueducts