Longwood Harbour & Boyne Aqueduct

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This is a fine stretch of waterway. The canal crosses the Longwood Road Aqueduct and the impressive three-arched aqueduct over the River Boyne, with the railway viaduct nearby. From Hill of Down the canal is through more open country with typical hedgerows.

In 1801 the canal company asked the newly elected Directors General of Inland Navigation for financial aid and they sent their engineer, John Brownrigg, to inspect the works. At this time the canal ended at the aqueduct over the Blackwater but the line was laid out across the Boyne and on towards Kinnegad. He said that the line was “as bad and as expensive as
can be imagined” and the directors of the canal company were persuaded to alter the line to the north, away frpm Kinnegad. Some of the line had actually been excavated. It is possible to trace parts of the abandoned canal and to see the point at which it diverged from the present line about halfway between Blackshade Bridge and Hill of Down. A grant of €95,856 was given to the company with a proviso that the canal must be completed to Mullingar without further aid and that docks should be constructed at the junction with the River Liffey in Dublin.

A major breach of the embankment, east of the Longwood Road Aqueduct, occurred in June 1993. Its repair over the following months by the OPW was the biggest restoration project on the canal in any single location.

When the canal was in commercial use, the harbour beside the Longwood Road Aqueduct was known locally as “Boyne Dock”.