Lune Aqueduct

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Lune Aqueduct
The Lune Aqueduct. Halton - - 639775.jpg
Coordinates54°04′06″N 2°47′22″W / 54.06838°N 2.78932°W / 54.06838; -2.78932Coordinates: 54°04′06″N 2°47′22″W / 54.06838°N 2.78932°W / 54.06838; -2.78932
OS grid referenceSD486636
CarriesLancaster Canal
CrossesRiver Lune
Maintained byCanal & River Trust
Preceded byA683 bridge
Followed bySkerton Bridge
Trough constructionConcrete
Pier constructionStone
Total length664 ft (202.4 m)
Width20 ft (6.0 m)
Height61 ft (18.6m)
No. of spans5
DesignerJohn Rennie
Construction startJanuary 1794
OpenedAutumn 1797
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameLancaster Canal Lune Aqueduct
Designated22 December 1953
Reference no.1362451
Lune Aqueduct is located in Lancaster
Lune Aqueduct
Lune Aqueduct
Location in Lancaster
Lune Aqueduct is located in the City of Lancaster district
Lune Aqueduct
Lune Aqueduct
Location in the City of Lancaster district

The Lune Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Lancaster Canal over the River Lune, on the east side of the city of Lancaster in Lancashire, England. It was completed in 1797 at a total cost of £48,320 18s 10d.[1] It is a Grade I listed building.[2]


The aqueduct was designed by civil engineer John Rennie and constructed by architect Alexander Stevens (died 1796, aged 66).[3][4] The cost of the construction was close to £50,000.[5]

The aqueduct is a traditional structure of that time, consisting of five stone arches supporting the stone trough. Within the piers, special volcanic pozzolana powder was imported to be mixed with cement, which allowed the concrete to set under water.[3] Because of the rush to finish the initial stages, before the winter floods, the construction was carried out around the clock and the final bill for the project was over £30,000 over budget (2.6 times the original estimate). This vast overspend was the reason that the Lancaster canal was never joined to the main canal network – there wasn’t enough money for the planned aqueduct over the River Ribble at the southern end of the canal.

Recent restoration[edit]

Work began to restore the aqueduct in January 2011, and was completed in March 2012.[6] The work involved restoring the canal channel, masonry repairs, removing graffiti, and improving public access. The project cost £2.4m, and was funded by British Waterways, Lancaster Canal Trust, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.[6]


The structure bears two inscriptions:[7]

  • North side: "To Public Prosperity"
  • South side: "QUAE DEERANT ADEUNT: SOCIANTUR DISSITA: MERCES FLUMINA CONVENIUNT ARTE DATURA NOVAS. A.D. MDCCXCVII. ING. I. RENNIE EXTRUX. A. STEVENS. P. ET F." which can be translated as: "Things that are wanting are brought together / Things remote are connected / Rivers themselves meet by the assistance of art / To afford new objects of commerce. AD 1797. Engineer J Rennie. Built A Stevens father and son" (translated from the Latin)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Short History of the Lancaster Canal 1772-1997". Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  2. ^ ‹The template Images of England is being considered for merging.›  Historic England. "Grade I (383094)". Images of England. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Lancaster Canal Trust - Lune Aqueduct". Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  4. ^ Fleury, p.30. On page 574 it is stated that his year of death was 1795.
  5. ^ Fleury, p.116
  6. ^ a b "Work to restore Lancaster's Lune Aqueduct completed". BBC News. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Engineering Timelines - explore ... where". Retrieved 30 December 2008.


  • Cross Fleury (1891). Time-Honoured Lancaster.