The feeder pipe bridge was built in 1857 and was constructed as part of a feeder canal to provide an improved water supply to the Glamorganshire Canal system from Abercynon to Cardiff. The inadequate water supply is referred to in 1854 when Nixon’s, the Aberdare Canal coal freighters, complained of delays. “The Lock keepers grappled day and night with too many boats and shortages of water”. The lock being referred to are Thomas Dadford’s Abercynon “sixteen” which rose as astonishing 207 feet within a mile of the Canal basin towards the iron and coal town of Aberdare and Merthyr.
At Fiddler’s elbow a weir was constructed and the water diverted when required into the feeder canal this was constructed across the River Taff ¾ mile upstream from the basin. The feeder canal ran along the west bank of the river to the feeder bridge. At this point it crossed the River Taff and continued along the east bank below Trevithick’s railway line. It then joined the Glamorganshire Canal at the basin where at this point the canal is some thirty feet above river level.