Day 19 mile 19: Legs & Suspenders.
Well that made you look! Today I went for a run across and below the Menai Suspension Bridge (Pont Grog y Borth). It was built in 1826 by engineer Thomas Telford (and no doubt quite a few helpers!) and is high and wide enough to let the C19th Tall Ships pass below it.
Limestone from the top right hand corner of the island was used to make the pillars which are hollow with internal bracing. On these rest sixteen huge chain cables which support the span. The chains each measure 1,714 ft and weigh 123 tons. To avoid rusting between manufacture and use, the iron was soaked in linseed oil and later painted, although I prefer Lewis Caroll’s solution.
White Knight 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.”
—”Haddocks’ Eyes”, Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll
Its an amazing place and links Anglesey to the mainland across the Menai Straits. The straits themselves are steeped in history marking the last line of defence of the Druids against the Romans and turns up in the Heimskringla with Vikings quarreling over the spoils of war. More latterly the main source of income on Anglesey was from the sale of cattle, and to move them to markets they had to be driven into the water and encouraged to swim across the Strait, with obvious results! The tide can also go though at about 4.8 knots (8.9 km/h) which is pretty much almost exactly as fast as I was running places.
Distance: 1793.1 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Elapsed time: 10 minutes, 51 seconds
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