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Telfordgiants: Telford

The work of great engineers has shaped the North Wales we know today. After all, what is the Menai Strait without Telford's suspension bridge? Or the River Dee Estuary without its iconic cable-stayed bridge? And without the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to hold it up, the Llangollen Canal would be little more than a waterfall.

Over the years, the battle with rocks and rivers has prompted some ingenious methods of traversing our landscape. Which is why today we have a tunnel through a mountain at Penmaenmawr, a road under the Conwy Estuary, trains that go up mountains – and Sarn Helen, one of the least straight Roman Roads in Britain.

When Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge was opened in 1826 it was the longest of its kind in the world. It also cut the journey time on the A5 road from London to Holyhead by a whopping 9 hours. Telford's other triumphs in North Wales include Conwy Suspension Bridge, and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen – still the highest aqueduct in Britain.

In the 1840s Robert Stephenson built a second bridge over the Menai Strait, this time to carry the London to Holyhead railway. And we've more in the way of railways all over North Wales. Including the Great Orme Tramway, Llandudno – Britain's oldest cable-hauled tramway. The Llangollen Railway – very handy for sightseeing in the Dee Valley. The Snowdon Mountain Railway - tirelessly scaling the highest mountain in England and Wales since 1896. And Rhyl Miniature Railway – the oldest miniature railway in Britain.

Related Links:
www.attractionsnorthwales.co.uk
www.borderlands.co.uk
www.visitconwy.org.uk
www.islandofchoice.com
www.prosiectmenai.co.uk

Telfordgiants: Telford

 

Marble Arch in London marks the start of the A5, the 260 mile-long road link from London to Holyhead. It was built by Thomas Telford and at the time it was the biggest state-funded road project in Britain since Roman times.

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Thomas Telford’s famous Menai Suspension Bridge isn’t the only one of Telford’s suspension bridges in these parts: you’ll find his other one right next to the castle in Conwy.

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Opened in 1998 to carry a dual carriageway into Deeside, and as an alternative route into North Wales from north west England.

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This attraction is Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) approved.

The Great Orme Tramway opened in 1902 and is still going strong today. In fact, it’s the only cable-hauled tramway operating on British public roads.

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Before Thomas Telford built the Menai Suspension Bridge, a journey to Anglesey meant a perilous boat trip or desperate dash at low tide.

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Constructed between 1795 and 1805, and said to be Telford’s most impressive work, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built to carry the Llangollen Canal across the Dee Valley.

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The first miniature railway opened at Marine Lake, Rhyl in 1911, and today it’s a big favourite with passengers – four generations on.

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Civil engineer Robert Stephenson was born in Newcastle in 1803, the son of famous railway engineer, George Stephenson. Just as Menai Suspesnion Bridge provided the first road link between Anglesey and the main land, so Britannia Bridge would provide the very first rail link.

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What did the Romans ever do for us? There’s no doubt that one of the biggest things the Romans brought to Britain was a network of roads.

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This attraction is Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) approved.

Snowdon Mountain Railway has been scaling the highest mountain in England and Wales since 1896. Today it’s one of the most popular attractions in North Wales, drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.

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What we know today as the Llangollen Canal was originally part of the Ellesmere Canal – Thomas Telford’s first major civil engineering project.

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This attraction is Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) approved.

Today the Llangollen Railway uses part of the line that originally ran from Ruabon near Wrexham to Barmouth on the west coast.

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Thomas Telford was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1757. He was dubbed ‘Colossus of Roads’ by the poet Robert Southey, but he was so much more than a road builder.

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