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Lune Aqueduct

Type:Historic Site

Caton Road, Lancaster, Lancs, LA1 3RA

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Lune Aqueduct
It was designed by John Rennie and constructed by Alexander Stevens using traditional bridge building techniques. The structure consists of five semi-circular arches, each spanning seventy feet and amazingly, the supporting piers rest on piles of specially imported Russian timbers driven deep into the bed of the river. Wood, it seems, does not rot when permanently wet.

The piers themselves were of hollow construction, built in stone and strengthened by iron bars. When completed, the hollow centres were filled in with rubble. Huge coffer dams held back the river and the water was pumped out using primitive steam engines. Wooden scaffolding was used to support the structure of wedge shaped stones. These formed the masonry arches until each of the final keystones was in place.

The trough carrying the 20 foot wide canal over the aqueduct is now made of concrete but old drawings show that it was originally made of stone. Its curving side walls were 18 inches thick and the bottom was 1 foot deep with 3 feet of puddled clay to make it watertight.

An inscription on the upstream face of the aqueduct reads:-

"To Public Prosperity"

The downstream side bears a Latin inscription, translated as:-

"Old needs are served, far distant sites combined. Rivers by art to bring new wealth are joined".

Work started in 1794 and was completed in 1797 at a cost of £48,321. This amount exceeded the original estimate (of £18,619) to such an extent that a corresponding aqueduct over the River Ribble was never built.

The aqueduct was restored in 2011-2012, and can now be enjoyed on foot or by canal boat. For details of daytime and evening cruises which run between May and October please visit www.budgietransport.co.uk .

Book Tickets


Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free AdmissionFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Opening Times

Lune Aqueduct (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)


Road Directions

M6 Junction 34 then A683 towards lancaster. Through traffic lights and look for a small carpark on right just before Concrete Aqueduct. 5 minutes walk to Lune Aqueduct

Public Transport Directions

Lancaster castle Station is on West coast Main line. 10 walk to bus station. Any bus for Ingleton or Kirkby Lonsdale goes past the aqueduct.


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