Thomas Telford (1757–1834)

The Civil Engineer


Thomas Telford was born on 9th August in 1757 in Scotland. He was a Scottish civil engineer, an architect and a stonemason. He built numerous roads, bridges and canals in Britain.

Early life

Thomas Telford was born on 9 August 1757 at Glendinning of Scotland, at a hill farm. Thomas Telford's father John Telford who was a shepherd, passed away very soon after Thomas was born. Thomas's mother, Janet Jackson raised him in poverty.

At the young age of 14, Thomas Telford was apprenticed to a stonemason, and he worked for a time in Edinburgh. In the year 1782 he moved to London where he was involved in new constructions to Somerset House (a major arts and cultural centre in the heart of London). Two years later, Thomas Telford found himself a job at Portsmouth dockyard.

In 1787, Telford became one of the Surveyor of Public Works in Shorpshire. Civil engineering was still a discipline that was in its initial stage at that time, so Telford was set himself as an architect. The works that Thomas Telford did included Decoration of Shrewsbury Castle (a red sandstone castle in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England).

Thomas Telford was also responsible for bridges as the county surveyor, he designed a bridge carrying the London Holyhead road over the River Severn in 1790, called Halfie. It was the first iron bridge that designed by Telford, Halfie is also one of the major crossings of the Severn at Buildwas.


Later Years

During his later years, Telford was invloved for rebuilding sections of the London Holy Head Road, a task completed by his helper of ten years. Today, much of the route is the A5 trunk road, although the Holyhead Road diverted off the A5 along what is now parts of A45, A41 and A464 through the cities.

Telford passed away in 1834.

Galton Bridge Smethwick, Designed by Telford
(One of the famous bridge that Thomas Tlford designed)

Thomas Telford was a great engineer that people will never forget about him!

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