The Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. It reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. It opened in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project.

The Falkirk Wheel. Over 1000 people were employed in the construction of the wheel, which has been designed to last for at least 120 years / Image: memolands.com

The wheel raises boats by 24 metres, but the Union Canal is still 11 metres higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel. Boats must also pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and one of two working boat lifts in the United Kingdom, the other being the Anderton Boat Lift.

Inspirations for the design include a double-headed Celtic axe, the propellor of a ship and the ribcage of a whale. The architect Tony Kettle described the Wheel as “a beautiful, organic flowing thing, like the spine of a fish,” and the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland described it as “a form of contemporary sculpture.”

View of the aqueduct and top of the wheel / Image: memolands.com

Featured Image: The Falkirk Wheel / Image: memolands.com

Websites: scottishcanals.co.uk



 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.