Conwy Suspension Bridge

According to Wikipedia ‘The Conwy Suspension Bridge is a Grade I-listed structure and is one of the first road suspension bridges in the world. Located in the medieval town of Conwy in Conwy county boroughNorth Wales, it is now only passable on foot. The bridge is now in the care of the National Trust. It originally carried the A55(T) road from Chester to Bangor.

Built by Thomas Telford, the 99.5-metre-long (326 ft) suspension bridge[1] spans the River Conwy next to Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site. The bridge was built in 1822โ€“26 at a cost of ยฃ51,000 and replaced the ferry at the same point. It is in the same style as one of Telford’s other bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge crossing the Menai Strait. The original wooden deck was replaced by an iron roadway in the late nineteenth century and it was strengthened by adding wire cables above the original iron chains in 1903. The following year a six-foot-wide (1.8 m) walkway was added for pedestrian traffic. The bridge was superseded by a new road bridge built alongside and closed on 13/12/1958 [2] when the Rt. Hon. Henry Brooke, MP performed the opening ceremony of the new bridge. [3]The suspension bridge is now only used as a footbridge and has been owned by the National Trust since 1965 who make a small charge for entry.[4]

Telford designed the bridge to match the adjacent Conwy Castle.[1] The bridge deck is suspended by four tiers of two chains each (a fifth tier was added later)[4] carried over castellated towers that have a central archway over the road with machicolation.[1] The chains are anchored on the east side of the river by a freestone and concrete plinth while those on the western side are anchored to the eastern barbican of the castle and bedrock. Part of the castle had to be demolished during construction to anchor the suspension cables.[4]

Standing on this bridge with the castle in the background is my maternal grandmother in about 1926. In the pushchair – they didn’t have buggies in those days – I imagine we have my mother and Uncle Roy. I think her companion in the second picture is the relative with whom they stayed. These were my two retouching efforts this morning.

Jackie has continued working on the stumpery, seen here in context at the corner of the Weeping Birch Bed.

From my vantage point on the Heligan Path bench I admired the planting of petunias and geraniums in this hanging basket beside the south fence.

Increasingly sleek and vociferous by the day, young Nugget is growing up convinced we are his family.

Darting around from stumps to gravel path and back, with an occasional foray into the ferns, at a speed which Usain Bolt would envy, he was ready with his observations and suggestions.

The afternoon was dull and humid, but cooler than the last two days. Jackie drove me to Waterstones in Lymington to spend a book token. We drove on to Lepe and back. The trip yielded no photographs.

This evening we dined on flavoursome fish pie; crisp cauliflower and carrots; and tender asparagus (left by Becky) and runner beans. Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Ian’s excellent El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2017.


  1. I do enjoy viewing these lovely old photographs. Little Nugget is a very pretty little bird, I do hope he stays.

  2. I’m intrigued Derrick, what book did you buy, if you don’t mind me asking x

  3. Derrick, you are doing great showing us your nation’s history along with your own relatives. Jackie can’t help but do an excellent job in the garden and Nugget couldn’t have picked a better family!!

  4. Little Nugget certainly looks fully involved with whatever is going on. He is a most personable (birdable?) little fellow. Jackie clearly has a certain attraction about her………. Your history lesson today was most interesting, thank you for that.

  5. I am pleased to see your little companion is still tame enough to act as a model.

    I’m interested in how you are tackling the picture restoration. Have I missed a post where you explain exactly how you’re doing this and if not, would you consider writing one?

    1. Thanks very much, Susan. I will explain on my next effort. I simply use the Photo editing facility on my iMac. For me it is simpler that Photoshop or the other methods which I think are beyond me

  6. Those old photos are amazing and so interesting and youโ€™re doing a great job of editing them.

  7. Love the vintage photos. Thereโ€™s an old family story about me concerning bridges. Apparently I couldnโ€™t say bridgeโ€”it sounded more like โ€œbitchโ€ and 5-year-old me was concerned about a bridge my parents deemed weak. I persisted in saying that I hated weak bitches. I was a very odd child.

  8. The photos of your grandmother are really charming. Both ladies are wearing the same shoes in the one picture. Little Nugget is a charmer.

  9. โ€˜Machicolationโ€™ was an enlightenment. I suppose the folks on the Conwy bridge are due for retouching. Meanwhile, stumpery goes on under the supervision of Nugget.

  10. I adore family history stories and you’re so lucky to possess such fabulous photo’s to go with your history. It’s all so interesting ! I’m behind (as is typical), but I see you’ve become surrogates to a little Robin ! Just lovely to have a feathered garden friend to enjoy ! Cheers to you and Jackie then xK

  11. The bridge photos are wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’ve always enjoyed bridges of all kinds!) Your mum and her brother seem to be enjoying the bridge-view!
    Aw, Little Nugget picked THE best family to join! ๐Ÿ™‚ He is handsome and growing up so fast!
    Jackie’s work on the stumpery is coming along beautifully! ๐Ÿ™‚
    What new book did you get?
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. The captures of little Nugget are adorable Derrick! – Beautifully done. I’m sure all 3 will benefit from his ‘adoption’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think he is going to be very pleased with ‘his’ stumpery when Jackie finishes decorating it for him. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I must have passed (and likely stopped for a time at) Conwy Castle a number of times on holidays spent on Anglesea bqack in the 60’s. The bridge is far more substantial than the one to South Stack Lighthouse on the Island. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope the heat has passed for a while!

  13. Wonderful pictures of Nugget! Also, quite the history of the bridge. And, what a fabulous album you will have when you have finished. Beautiful!

  14. That is quite a bridge, and wonderful family photos with it. Little Nugget–not so little anymore–is quite the charmer.
    Your garden looks as beautiful as ever. I’m happy for you that it’s cooled off a bit.

  15. Derrick, I got this update from Brian’s (LordBeariOfBow) daughter, Sarah and wanted to let you know…

    “Dad is still in hospital. Very frail. Had an operation yesterday to put a stent in his valve. They said it went well. He has a scan on Monday to check.
    He will appreciate every ones thoughts – thank you for checking on him and sending love and best wishes. I will pass them on.
    He is looking forward to writing a blog about his admission.”

  16. Interesting black and white photos. There’s always something very romantic about bridges, perhaps it’s the idea of linking two shores. We love Nugget! He has the charisma to become a celebrity.

  17. Young Nugget is adorable; Jackie is lucky to have such a cute assistant!
    The photos and the history of the suspension bridge and the castle behind it are fascinating, Derrick.

  18. How fortunate you are to have these photos of your grandmother in a real life setting rather than a stiff pose in front of a wall. I love that first photo of Nugget on the rocks. Beautiful! What a capture. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can hardly wait to see what Jackie creates from the stumpery.

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