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.
Morning in Eskdale
London and Portsmouth
The Shrewsbury Days
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achieved Andrew Little Anglesey appointed aqueduct arch architect architectural bank Birmingham Birmingham & Liverpool boats Brindley's building built Caledonian Canal Canal Company carried chains Chester Canal Chirk church civil engineering Clachnaharry Commissioners Committee completed construction Corpach cross cutting Ellesmere Canal embankment England Eskdale favour Firth Fort Augustus friends Glen Gotha Canal harbour Harecastle Highlands Holyhead Holyhead Road horses Inverness iron ironwork James Jessop John Rennie labour Lake Langholm letter Liverpool Junction Canal Loch Oich locks London masonry Matthew Davidson Menai Menai Bridge miles Nantwich navigation never North piers plans Platen Pont Cysyllte Pulteney railway realised Rennie's resident engineer river route Ruabon scheme Scotland Severn Shelmore Shrewsbury Canal Shropshire soon Southey span steam stone summit survey suspension bridge Sweden Thomas Telford tower traffic Trent & Mersey tunnel valley Vättern waterway western William Jessop William Provis wrote Telford yards