Telford and North Wales

“Mr. Telford applied the same methods in the reconstruction of these
roads that he had already adopted in Scotland and Wales, and the
same improvement was shortly felt in the more easy passage over
them of vehicles of all sorts, and in the great acceleration of the
mail service. At the same time, the line along the coast from
Bangor, by Conway, Abergele, St. Asaph, and Holywell, to Chester,
was greatly improved. As forming the mail road from Dublin to
Liverpool, it was considered of importance to render it as safe
and level as possible. The principal new cuts on this line were
those along the rugged skirts of the huge Penmaen-Mawr; around the
base of Penmaen-Bach to the town of Conway; and between St. Asaph
and Holywell, to ease the ascent of Rhyall Hill.

“But more important than all, as a means of completing the main line
of communication between England and Ireland, there were the great
bridges over the Conway and the Menai Straits to be constructed.
The dangerous ferries at those places had still to be crossed in
open boats, sometimes in the night, when the luggage and mails were
exposed to great risks. Sometimes, indeed, they were wholly lost
and passengers were lost with them. It was therefore determined,
after long consideration, to erect bridges over these formidable
straits, and Mr. Telford was employed to execute the works,–in
what manner, we propose to describe in the next chapter.”

– Samuel Smiles, The Life of Thomas Telford

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