Talybont-on-Usk canal drawbridge

Talybont-on-Usk canal drawbridge

talybont_drawbridgeA wooden drawbridge carried the road over the canal here, as shown in the photo taken c.1904. It was replaced by a fixed bridge after navigation on the canal ceased in the 1930s.

Before the canal reopened to boats in 1970, a steel drawbridge with an electric operating mechanism was installed (see photo below, also courtesy of the MBACT archive).

The structure we see today is a more recent replacement. The bridge deck is normally lowered for pedestrians and vehicles to cross. Boaters are not to raise the deck at the times when children are going to or from school!

There are four other drawbridges along the canal to the west. They are for farmers to access fields and are less elaborate than the one at Talybont. Drawbridges saved the canal company the expense of building stone bridges over the canal at these locations.

talybont_steel_drawbridgeThe canal is close to the main street in Talybont-on-Usk village but well above it. The steep embankment separating the two has caused problems in the past. A breach in December 1994 caused local flooding and closed the canal temporarily. This section was rebuilt with concrete lining to reduce the risk of breaches.

If you walk a short distance up the road from the drawbridge, on your left you’ll see a cottage built by the Brecon & Abergavenny Canal Company. Between the first-floor windows are the letters B&ACCo.

With thanks to the archive of the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust

Postcode: LD3 7YJ    View Location Map