We are delighted to announce that we have started working with Denbighshire County Council and the ‘Our Picturesque Landscape’ Landscape Partnership Scheme partners on an Interpretation Action Plan for the Dee Valley and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.
Anna Wilson and Beth Môrafon spent an atmospherically foggy two days visiting a number of key sites across the project area in late September. The story threading these sites together is that of the inspirational journeys that have and continue to be a feature of the area. Poets and artists, including JMW Turner and Richard Wilson, have been inspired by the Dee Valley’s picturesque landscape, and the development of the canal and the A5 has enabled tourists to flock here since the 18th century.
From standing atop Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which for 200 years was the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world, to experiencing the pitch black darkness in Chirk Tunnel, it was an exhilarating couple of days. We also explored the house and gardens at Plas Newydd, the former home of Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, ‘the ladies of Llangollen’, who were champions of the romantic movement and pivotal in establishing the Dee Valley as a centre for picturesque appreciation, and we climbed Dinas Brân to see the castle ruins, which feature as a backdrop in so many paintings of the landscape.
We are really excited to be working with the partnership to develop creative and engaging ways to interpret the landscape and to support their stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) application.