Built between 1819 and 1826, the Menai Bridge was the major structure on Britain's strategically important Holyhead Road connecting London with Holyhead and by sea to Ireland. Designed by Thomas Telford, the bridge's main span was 579 feet from tower to tower, the longest that had ever been attempted at this time. He used four sets wrought-iron eyebars to suspend the deck. These were made by William Hazledine at his Upton forge near Shrewsbury. Each bar was carefully tested in his Coleham shops before being pinned together and lifted into place. The roadway was only 24ft wide and, without stiffening trusses, soon proved highly unstable in the wind. The deck of the Menai Bridge was strengthened in 1840 by W. A. Provis; Sir Benjamin Baker replaced the timber deck with a steel deck in 1893. Despite these alterations, the gracefulness of Telford's original structure remains apparent.
Isle of Anglesey
Courtesy Flickr/Ingy the Wingy (CC BY-ND 2.0)
- Menai Bridge 1818-26 by R. A. Paxton