We have several books available online that have been published by Menai Heritage:
- The Piers and Piermasters of Menai Bridge
- A Walking Guide to the Menai Strait Bridges
- Menai Bridge – A Pictorial History
- An Historical and Descriptive Account of the Suspension Bridge Constructed over the Menai Strait in North Wales.
We also have other Menai Bridges-related books from other publishers:
- Man of Iron – Julian Glover
- Thomas Telford Through Time – John Christopher
- On Tour with Thomas Telford – Chris Morris
- Thomas Telford – L.T.C. Rolt
- Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales – Keith Thomas
- The Secret Bridge – Robin Richards
- Life and Death on the Royal Charter – Chris and Lesley Holden
These books, as well as a number of other books and bridge-related memorabilia and prints, are also available for purchase at the Telford Centre.
Located on the shores of the Menai Strait, Menai Bridge town (also known as Porthaethwy) has always had a close connection with the sea. Before the Menai Suspension Bridge was opened in 1826 it was the landing place of one of several ferries across the Strait. Afterwards, as the town grew, increasing numbers of ships began landing, first carrying imported goods, then growing numbers of tourists. The book The Piers and Piermasters of Menai Bridge tells the story of the development of the piers.
The story begins with the Davies family, who developed the waterfront and built up a sizable fleet of ships to carry slates and emigrants to America, and timber and other goods back. It takes you through time to the three generations of the Hughes family, who were the last piermasters on Prince’s Pier.
This 40 page book is richly illustrated and introduces the reader to the many people who have worked and played on the piers and promenade. It is the result of a community project, fronted by the author Julie Stone, which brought together many descendants of the piermasters and others who used the piers, to explore their history and family stories.
Format: Paperback, 148 x 210 mm
Images: 57, monochrome & colour
Publisher: Menai Heritage, October 2017
£4.50 + shipping:
Bob Daimond and Warren Kovach
The Menai Strait, separating the Isle of Anglesey from mainland Wales, is spanned by two world famous bridges, Thomas Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge. For many years Menai Heritage, a community group that tells the story of these bridges, has been offering guided tours. Their experts point out features of interest and explain their history and their engineering and social significance. This guide book distils their knowledge into print form, so that visitors can take the walks at their own time and speed.
The book begins with a brief section giving the story of their construction and later modifications. It then continues with a description of a walk around the bridges. Each numbered step gives directions to follow for the walk, and points out features of interest along the way. The reader can take either a short walk across and under the Suspension Bridge, or a longer one that also takes in the Britannia Bridge.
The 16-page book is richly illustrated with historical images from the Menai Heritage archives as well as modern photos showing the main points of interest. It is an excellent companion for a visit to these magnificent bridges, as well as a good addition to the book shelf of anyone interested in local and engineering history.
Format: Paperback, 148 x 210 mm
Images: 31, colour
Publisher: Menai Heritage, April 2015
The latest in John Cowell’s series of pictorial local histories, this book focuses on Menai Bridge town. It is intended for the general reader who has an interest in the history of Menai Bridge. It deals with the growth of the town following the construction of Telford’s bridge and its rise as a popular tourist attraction, ending with later developments that completely altered the physical appearance of the town. The illustrations, each of which is accompanied by an informative caption, portray a society vastly different from our own when visitors poured off the steamers, children played safely in the road and nine out of ten spoke Welsh.
Format: Paperback, 210 x 148 mm
Images: 99, monochrome
Publisher: Menai Heritage, October 2014
ISBN: 0 9518592 6 9
An Historical and Descriptive Account of the Suspension Bridge Constructed over the Menai Strait in North Wales.
William Alexander Provis
This is a photographic reproduction of the original 1828 publication. It describes the background to the efforts to fund, design and build a bridge over the Menai Strait. Full details of the design decisions taken and the progress of the construction are given, along with a number of plates of detailed drawings of various elements of the bridge.
Format: Paperback, 210 x 294 mm
Images: 21, monochrome
Publisher: Menai Heritage, 2012
Thomas Telford was a complex man: a shepherd’s boy who loved the countryside but helped industrialise it; an ambitious man who cared little for accolades; highly sociable and charming, but peculiarly private about his personal life; and an engineer who was also a poet. He cherished a vision of a country connected to transform mobility and commerce: his radical politics lay not in ideas but the creation of useful, solid things.
In an age in which economics, engineering and national identity came together, Thomas Telford’s life was a model of what can be achieved by persistence, skill and ambition. Drawing on contemporary accounts, this, the first full modern biography of Telford, at once intimate and expansive, is an utterly original portrait. It is a book of roads and landscapes, waterways and bridges, but above all, of how one man transformed himself into the greatest engineer Britain has ever produced.
Format: Hardcover, 234 x 153 mm
Images: 2×8 page colour inserts
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2017
Before the emergence of the steam railway rocketed the likes of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Robert Stephenson – the great Victorian engineers – into the limelight, there was a ‘Colossus’ who dominated the engineering scene and laid the foundations for what was to follow. Thomas Telford built a series of ambitious road and canal projects, as well as many notable bridges – including the ground-breaking Menai Suspension Bridge – numerous harbour works and buildings.
Contrasting old and new images, John Christopher examines Telford’s principal works to highlight his diverse, but often overshadowed, achievements. These include not only the Menai Bridge, of course, but also the other masonry and iron bridges, the Ellesmere Canal with its aqueducts at Pontcysyllte and Chirk, the Caledonian Canal slicing though Scotland’s Great Glen, and the A5 road running between London and Holyhead.
Format: Paperback, 234 x 165 mm
Images: One or more colour on every page
Publisher: Amberley Publishing, April 2016
£14.99 + shipping:
Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Thomas Telford’s birth, this book of photographs of his engineering achievements is in effect a visual biography: nothing could be more appropriate for a man who was constantly travelling round his projects, for whom work was life and whose life was his work.
Incorporating material from the author’s earlier book, Thomas Telford’s Scotland, this new edition is a visual celebration of Telford’s architectural and engineering legacy, from the mighty Menai Bridge to the harbours, manses and chapels of the remote Scottish Highlands.
Format: Paperback, 241 x 165 mm
Images: One or more colour on every page
Publisher: Amberley Publishing, June 2015
The son of a shepherd, Thomas Telford was born in Westerkirk, Scotland in 1757. At the age of 14, he was apprenticed to a stonemason. He worked for a time in Edinburgh and in 1782 he moved to London. By this time, Telford had established a good reputation as an engineer and in 1790 was given the task of building a bridge over the River Severn at Montford. This was followed by a canal that linked the ironworks and collieries of Wrexham with Chester and Shrewsbury. On the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Telford used a new method of construction consisting of troughs made from cast-iron plates and fixed in masonry. With the success of these structures, Telford began his rise to fame that eventually made him one of the greatest engineers in Victorian Britain. His bridges, aqueducts, roads, and canals combined aesthetic grace with brilliant engineering, and perhaps no other single individual contributed more to making Britain the “workshop of the world.”
Format: Paperback, 152 x 229 mm
Images: 23, monochrome
Publisher: The History Press, 2007
Until the early part of the 18th century life for the majority of Britons had not changed greatly since the Middle Ages, but then in the space of 300 years the pace of change accelerated rapidly. Civil engineering was vital for these sudden and large improvements to our economy and quality of life. Wales is said to have been one of the first industrialised nations in the world, when the number of people employed in industry exceeded the number in agriculture. From the 18th century the rapid expansion of industry required improved transport links for the movement of materials and finished products by way of canals, roads, railways and docks. The mountainous landscape presented serious obstacles to improvements in communications, creating innovative and spectacular engineering. Many of Britain’s finest engineers have been involved throughout the Principality, including Brindley, Jessop, Rennie, Telford, Stephenson and Brunel. This book records examples of some of their best work.
This book is part of a regional series on civil engineering heritage that examines the contribution of the civil engineer to society over the last 300 years, including transport networks, architecture and landscape design. It is fully illustrated throughout, making an important contribution to the industrial history of Britain, and would interest anyone with a desire to know more about civil engineering’s impact on the UK. It includes a gazetteer of ground-breaking monuments to civil engineering.
Format: Paperback, 182 x 240 mm
Images: monochrome photos & maps on most pages
Publisher: Phillimore & Co Ltd, 2010
This book tells the story of the reconstruction of the Menai Suspension bridge between 1936 and 1941. Very well illustrated, it shows how the chains and deck were dismantled and put back together, without stopping the traffic. It also includes lots of snippets about life in Menai Bridge at the time, and some of it’s best know residents.
Format: Paperback, 147 x 210 mm
Images: numerous monochrome photos, drawings and newspaper clippings on most pages
Publisher: Rocket Books, 1991
Chris and Lesley Holden
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the tragedy, Chris and Lesley Holden tell the story of the `Royal Charter’, from her launch at Sandycroft on the River Dee in Wales, through her six circumnavigations of the world, to her total destruction so very close to her home port of Liverpool. The story then continues with the actual newspaper reports of the subsequent inquest and inquiry, with eye-witness accounts written by those who were fortunate enough to survive.
Format: Paperback, 170 x 235 mm
Images: numerous monochrome & colour photos, drawings and newspaper clippings on most pages
Publisher: Calgo Publications, 2009
We also have bridge-related memorabilia, prints, and books available for purchase at the Telford Centre.