Menai Bridge

The Menai Suspension bridge, which crosses the Menai Strait, was the first iron suspension bridge of its kind in the world, and was probably Thomas Telfords most acclaimed achievement. With his extra improvements to the Holyhead to London road he managed to reduce the travel time from 36 hours down to 27 hours.

Work on the Menai Suspension Bridge commenced in 1819, and it was completed and opened on 30th Jan 1826. Building began with the stone pillars, the stone was quarried locally at Penmon on the northern end of the strait. The stonework was completed in 1824 and the task of lifting the main support chains began. In order to lift the central section of chain – each weighing 23 and a half tons – it took 150 men using block and tackle. Each chain was dipped in linseed oil to stop them rusting and prompted Lewis Carrol to include a reference to the bridge in ‘Through the Looking Glass’

White Knight says to Alice,
‘I heard him then, for I had just completed my design.
To keep the Menai Bridge from rust.
By boiling it in wine.’

One of the design requirements for the bridge was that it needed to have 100 feet of space under the main span, to allow for the passage of the tall sailing ships that plied the Menai Strait. Modern ships do not have this problem as the yacht in the next image shows.

In 1893 the wooden decking was replaced with steel decking and the original iron chains were replaced in 1938 with steel ones which significantly increased the load carrying capacity of the bridge.

8 Responses to Menai Bridge

  1. Brian says:

    thanks for that i’ll have read up on them in the morning.

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    What sort of camera and lense would you recommend (Jessops told me the NX would be the right camera) don’t have the biggest of budgets probably around £400 and don’t really want to be ripped off. I’ve read numerous forums, been in many a electrical/photo shops and get told different information all the time. Maximum distance of photo’s would be 200-300 m away as its usually something on the other side of the lake or river i’m fishing that’s got my attention.

    All your help is appreciated at least i can see you know your stuff some of your pictures are out of this world. You also have taken time to reply which not many people do if there’s nothing in it for them.


    • photosbykev says:

      I would seriously take a look at the Panasonic DMC-FZ38 camera, it has a very good x18 optical zoom 🙂

      • Brian says:

        Back again right i now have the money and the other halfs permission to spend it but when going to order the DMC-FZ38 i noticed this one Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 (more zoom and MP so does that make it better)



        • photosbykev says:

          in general terms yes it does. I know the FZ38 is good because I have one but I can’t comment on the FZ45 as I haven’t played with one. I would be very surprised if the FZ45 was a bad choice there isn’t a lemon in the Lumix range

          • Brian says:

            Thanks for all your help Kev.

            My camera finally arrived yesterday (£235 from tesco direct) and after having my first play i can say i’m really impressed so far.

            Thanks again


  3. Brian says:

    What a great picture of the bridge. I tried to get some when i was on holiday there a few years back but the bridge always looked far away. What sort of camera and lense did you use? I’m currently looking at a new compact camera (samsung NX5 with 18-55mm lense) would that take simular images. Am new to all this only started taking photos recently whilst fishing.


    • photosbykev says:

      The close images were taken with a Canon 100-400mm lens, the Samsung NX5 has a wide angle lens so you would get something similar to the top image in the article, maybe slightly larger.

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