A View of the Grand Suspension Bridge, over Menai Strait, Near Bangor Carnarvonshire. [left] Isle of Anglesea~~[right] Carnarvonshire~~with test: Dimensions.Process of taking over the Chains. & Tolls. This Singularly unique Structure commenced building, May, 1819_was opened 30th January, 1826.
Published by Richd. Lythall. Bangor.
Rare lithograph broadside, watermark Ruse & Turners 1815. Minor tears on outer edges of large margins.
Prior to the bridge's completion in 1826 the island had no connection to the mainland and all movement to and from Anglesey was by ferry (or, with difficulty, on foot at low tide). However, the Act of Union 1800 increased the need for transport to Ireland, and with Holyhead as one of the principal terminals to Dublin it was decided that a bridge was needed. Thomas Telford was assigned the task of improving the route from London to Holyhead, and one of the key improvements was his design of the suspension bridge over the Menai Strait between a point near Bangor on the mainland and what was then the village of Porthaethwy which is now also known as Menai Bridge on Anglesey. The design of the bridge had to allow sailing ships 100 ft tall to pass under the deck at high water slack tide. Construction of the bridge began in 1819 with the concrete towers on either side of the strait. Then came the sixteen huge chain cables, each made of 935 iron bars that support the 176 metre span. To avoid rusting, each cable was first soaked in linseed oil. The bridge was opened to much fanfare on January 30, 1826, and succeeded in reducing the 36 hour journey time from London to Holyhead by 9 hours. The bridge was not the first suspension bridge, but was so hugely greater than anything previously built that it is considered the world's first modern suspension bridge.
[Ref: 24055] £260.00