Menai Bridge


Well, REEEASONABLY important. The original Menai Bridge webpage was rather long and because I got cramp in my index finger, I decided to split it in two.

You are so kind to visit my website and I want to make as easy an experience as possible. So, I have applied links to that second page at the bottom of this page.

Among, articles on the second Menai Bridge Page you will be able to read about:





First the boring bit. Menai Bridge is a town vaguely about halfway along the Menai Straits.

The most dominant feature is the stunningly beautiful Menai Suspension Bridge constructed and completed by Thomas Telford in 1826.

A habitation has probably existed here since Roman times. Probably before this, as it’s the narrowest point along the Menai Straits.

The significance of this spot is that animals used to be driven into the Straits and swam across from the mainland.

If you look at the base of the Anglesey side bridge tower, you’ll notice that its foundation is set on a small island. This is called Ynys y Moch or Pig Island, for the obvious reason.

The old town sits alongside the river while more recent habitations and estates have been established on the hill above.







Menai Bridge - Anglesey


Please think of Menai Bridge as the welcoming threshold to Anglesey.

To cross over the classically designed suspension bridge from the Bangor side really is a delight. As you drive - and concentrate - your friends and family can take in the beauty of the Menai Straits.

As I write above, this is the narrowest point on the Straits and from here, in both directions, the river widens west toward Robert Stephenson's Britannia Bridge and east toward Beaumaris (Ahhh... Beaumaris).

The beauty of the Menai Straits brings together the blue sea, the sky and the woodland that cascades down to its shorelines.

You will notice the small tower block to your right a few miles down toward Beaumaris. I have always been told that Roger Moore used to live here occasionally.

Can you blame Sir Roger for wanting to stay along the Menai Straits? On a fine sunny day it's as good as the South of France.

It is imperative that you walk the bridge to view the sunsets because they will really help you get in touch with your Soul once again.

Anglesey Menai Bridge

The town of Menai Bridge is much more than a simple annexe to Thomas Telford's engineering brilliance. It is warm and engaging and has a character and style that draws you in.

As you come off the bridge turn right at the rondabout and drive down into town itself.

Anglesey Menai BridgeNothing wrong with Beaumaris, because it's equally brilliant, though entirely different, but Menai Bridge really used to be no more than a place on the way along the Menai Straits.

The local town council and Project Menai have really worked hard to bring about infrastructure improvements to the town.

Those of you who haven't visited Menai Bridge for a while will be pleasantly surprised at the fresh character that inhabits the square and street.

New paving and colourful shop fronts really make it an attractive place to stop for a gentle walk and a cup of tea in one of the excellent cafes.



While you’re in the Menai Bridge area why don’t you indulge yourself with delightful walks along the banks of the Menai Straits.

I have created a page with a walk that you can complete in one endeavour or break it down into a few stage to suit your mood and time.

Click Here to enjoy Menai Straits Evening Beauty

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Anglesey Menai BridgeLook to the road between the Post Office and the Bulkeley Arms. Follow it down past the Auckland Arms and this will lead you down to the Liverpool Arms (Good Food here).

From here you can either carry on to your right along the Menai Straits or turn left and through the gates onto another promenade overlooking the University of Wales Marine Biology dock.

If you're lucky the 'Prince Madog' will be tied alongside. This ship is the University's Marine Research Vessel and travels far to the North and South to carry out its significant work.

I will refer to Prince Madog again in the near future when I write about the sixth century Hospice at Penmon Priory.

Apparently Madog carried out some fine work here.

Prince Madog is alleged to have been one of the first Britons to sail across to America. It is further alleged in certain tales that when ships like the Mayflower arrived in America they were greeted by the indigenous tribespeople speaking Welsh.

I attribute the story to those of the same ilk that sold the legend of Dead Dog Town (Beddgelert) to the Victorians.

If they did speak Welsh, then I hope it wasn't Caernarfon Welsh, otherwise warfare would have broken out immediately and no-one would ever have bothered settling in America.

I have read in some tome or other that in all likelihood Prince Madog sailed as far as the Scillies and came back with a potato that looked like Mother Theresa.

The Scillies bit is quite probably true. The Mother Theresa Spud-U-Likeness, less likely.

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Why on earth did the Romans not cross the Menai Staits at its narrowest point?

I am certain that this is something on which you have been pondering. You have, haven't you?

You will know that the Romans were scared of the Anglesey Druids. In their fear they created some appalling tales about cannibalism and the terror that would befall any who would seek to invade their island stronghold of Mona.

It was the Romans who named Anglesey, 'Mona', by the way.

Anglesey Menai Bridge

Despite Menai Bridge being the narrowest point it was far too steep a territory from which they could launch a major offensive. That's why they chose to invade at the widest and flattest on the direct orders of Nero.

Heaven only knows why the Roman Emperor had taken such a dislike to the only undefeated portion of Roman Britain.

Nonetheless, Mona was eventually invaded and conquered from the Segontium Roman Fort at Caernarfon.

So rather than take a mere step from Menai Bridge, they crossed at the widest point on the straits, but the large sandbanks on the Anglesey side would have been very useful for mustering the legions. For More Please Click Here.

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Think of Menai Bridge as two lovely places to visit: the Bridge and the Town. Sunshine or rain, I really enjoy walking about the town of Menai Bridge.

The bridge is an obvious treat and the town has a couple of excellent eating places and a chip shop lauded by the great Ian Skidmore.

I especially like walking along the Belgian Promenade and under Thomas Telford's character-ful Suspension Bridge. I'll write more about the Menai Bridge walks quite soon and link you to them.

Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge

I must thank Wikipedia for some of the following facts, which were known to me, but were rather rusty and not entirely trustworthy. My primary school research days are a long way behind me.

However, I understand that the need for a ferry link to Ireland really arose as a consequence of the Act of Union of 1800. It is alleged that it was the transportation of mutually benefial commerce that brought about the need for an easy and direct route across Anglesey.

It was quite clear the only realistic spot for building a bridge was the narrows at Menai Bridge.

Porthaethwy literally means, 'Gateway to Aethwy', one of Anglesey's previous administrative areas.

Anglesey Menai BridgeIt's still called Porthaethwy in Welsh.

Check out the sign on the side of the Co-op.

Menai Bridge was obviously a name that arose after the construction of the bridge.

It doesn't really refer to the town itself.

Thomas Telford had been awarded the challenge of improving the state of the road between London and Holyhead to facilitate the flow of commerce.

Anglesey Menai BridgeTo further that Victorian ambition required the construction of the suspension bridge, which Thomas Telford began in 1819, with the construction of the two main towers.

The task was completed in 1826.

The main road decking was 112 foot high, as I remember from my primary school days.

One specific reason for this was a minimum requirement of 100 foot clearance to allow the passage of Royal Navy ships with their tall masts.

What is fascinating is that each of the bridge's suspension chains was made of iron bars.

In order to stop the iron chains rusting in the salt-laden sea air they were soaked in linseed oil.

The bridge was open with a bit of fuss on January 30th 1826.


I have information to hand from a certain Mr D Turnbull from Trearddur Bay that suggests that Thomas Telford was an engineer who simply achieved his astonishing engineering aims before moving on to the next challenge.

Mr Turnbull alleges that the bridge had been completed and ready for use for a week before the stewards on the bridge received a handwritten note from Mr Telford.

The missive simply stated that the Royal Mail coach and horses would be crossing the bridge that night and they were to open the bridge for use. No fuss at all.

Obviously there was a formal opening of the bridge.

There must have been an election or something due and so all competing top hats had to be presented in public.

Each hat alleging sigificant contribution to the project.

Nothing's changed there. "Skilled men to the back, please!"

Anglesey Menai Bridge


It has also been proposed from on-high - and I have no reason to doubt it - that Holyhead Port was constructed mainly to ensure the swift and easy tranportation of Members of Parliament from Ireland to Westminster.

The transportation of commerce and the Royal Mail was very important, but secondary to the politics of the time.

The Act of Union of 1800 and the problems that beset Ireland at the time does more or less support this contention.

Also be aware that soldiers who used to cross over to Ireland to quell the rebellious Irish, did on one occasion stop to beat up the striking miners at Amlwch Copper Mine.

A tactic that Winston Churchill regarded as useful when, a hundred years later, he sent the Metropolitan Police into South Wales to beat up striking coal miners during the early 1920s.

Many of you will be surprised to learn that Winston Churchill is not very much loved in certain areas of Wales, despite his formidable leadership during the Second World War.

Broken bones and bruises make for a great deal of dislike. Like me and my footballing days, actually. "Look out for specs, he's suicidal."

Anglesey Menai Bridge

My Father loved to be driven under the towers and arches of the bridge.

He was fascinated by the quality of the dressed stone and was full of admiration for the obvious skill of the masons.

Go for a walk there and I am certain that you will share his fascination and admiration.

You'll find plenty of pictures of the bridge on this page and that's because I love it as much as my Father did.

The stones were roughy cut at the Penmon Dinmor Quarries before being brought to the construction site. Each stone was dress by local stonemasons before being raised into position.

This bridge really is an astonishingly practical and stunningly beautiful example of Victorian engineering.

Should you so desire you can always have a look at my White Beach webpage where I refer to the bridge and also intruduce you to some of Anglesey's Crazy Horses. Please CLICK HERE for a view.

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Do you have any questions you'd like to ask or important information you want to share? We'd love to hear from you.

Maybe you have questions you want to ask in advance of your visit?

Maybe you have special advice - or even warnings?


Menai Bridge - Anglesey

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