Forth & Clyde Canal, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland
date 1772 - 1773
era Georgian |
category Aqueduct |
ICE reference number HEW 0474/03
The Luggie Aqueduct carries the Forth & Clyde Canal over the river known as Luggie Water in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, and was the first major canal aqueduct in Scotland.
John Smeaton is the aqueduct's designer, with some modifications by resident engineer Robert Mackell. The contractors were William Gibb — later founder of the company that became Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners — and John Muir.
The masonry structure is some 37.8m long overall, 15.2m high and 27.4m wide, with a single arch span of 13.7m. Horizontal side arches and earthen banks provide lateral stability.
The canal passes at full width in the aqueduct, allowing uninterrupted two-way passage of vessels unusual on British canals where the norm was an aqueduct only marginally wider than a single boat. The 27.4m long tunnel of the arch was built in three stages using curved timber formwork 9.1m wide on rollers, which was moved along after the preceding part of the tunnel had been completed.
To prevent leaks, it was customary to place a layer of clay beneath the canal bed. However, Smeaton chose to use a layer just 0.15m thick one sixth of the usual thickness over the crown of the arch.
Resident engineer: Robert Mackell
Main contractors: William Gibb and John Muir, Falkirk
"John Smeaton, FRS" by Professor A.W. Skempton
Thomas Telford Limited, London, 1981