Telford's Road To Holyhead

Telford spent two years surveying the road from London to Holyhead and began work in 1817.

By 1819 the London mail coaches were able to make the journey as far as Bangor in relative safety

and by 1826 travellers and coaches could cross the Menai Strait over his Menai Suspension bridge

instead of risking life and limb on the ferry.


Telford favoured the method used by the Romans to build roads, levelling and draining the base

before laying a solid pavement of large stones, and then placing carefully-sized smaller stones,

which became consolidated, creating the perfect surface for iron-bound wheels.


Generally, the modern A5 follows Telford’s original route but improvements in civil engineering techniques

have allowed re-routing where necessary.


It is a testament to Telford’s genius that parts of his original road provide the foundation for the modern A5.

More information: Thomas Telford, L.T.C. Rolt.