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30 January 1826. Menai Bridge opens: “in beauty it surpasses all powers of description”

Thomas Telford’s magnificent bridge was opened on 30 January 1826. One of the early descriptions of the bridge is by Lord Westmeath in a letter to Richard Temple, the first Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.

Holyhead Aug. 26

My dear Duke

[…] The crowds coming down to see the bridge are quite beyond belief. I would mention that observing it the other day when it blew hard I could perceive it undulating quite distinctly, but it evidently proceeded from the wind beneath, & not from the workers above.

An intelligent man at the toll house informed me that the S.W. wind is that to which it is worst exposed, & it has received a cast from that point by last winters gales before it was finished, which it will never lose. It seems to me however from its mighty strength to be secure from the elements greatest power, & in beauty it surpasses all powers of description.

Everly My dear Duke yours
sincerely & gratefully

Westmeath 

menai_bridge
Menai Bridge as engraved by George Hawkins