|Date||6 October 2012|
|Location||Menai Bridge||SH 55753 71234; 53.21851°N, 4.16186°W|
The Menai Suspension Bridge was designed by Thomas Telford and built between 1818 and 1826. Prior to its construction, the only transport links between the island of Anglesey and the mainland were the ferry crossings, which could be perilous, and cattle drovers taking livestock to market on the mainland had to swim their herds across the Menai Strait.
With the 1800 Act of Union, in which Ireland became part of the UK, the importance of a mail route between London and Dublin increased. Telford built the suspension bridge as part of his road from London to Holyhead, the ferry port chosen to link Great Britain with Ireland.
The bridge’s main span is 580 ft (177 m) long, the longest in the world at the time, and the height of the deck had to provide a clearance of 100 ft (30 m) to allow fully rigged Royal Navy sailing ships to pass beneath. The stone piers were built from Penmon limestone, the suspension chains were wrought iron, and the deck was originally wooden. The ironwork was replaced by steel when modernisation work was carried out in 1939-41.