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Mapped: Thomas Telford Trail celebrates engineer's less well known Shropshire work

By Mat Growcott | Bridgnorth | Attractions | Published:

Landmarks across the county are being highlighted as part of a new trail focussed on Thomas Telford.

The Thomas Telford Trail map - which you can download from telford50.co.uk/

The trail covers 24 well and lesser known bridges, roads, canals and buildings that the engineer and architect was involved in during his time in the county.

It is the brainchild of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust, a charity that aims to protect, conserve and improve the route of the canals that Thomas Telford established during his time in Shropshire in the late 1700 to 1800s.

The trail is the basis of a travelling exhibition that includes a giant information board detailing the history and Thomas Telford’s links with each location, supported by leaflets that will allow people to take the journey around the county and beyond for themselves.

It features 13 landmarks in the borough of Telford and Wrekin including Wappenshall Junction, Hadley Park Locks, and St Leonard’s Church in Malinslee, which was the last of three churches Thomas Telford built in the area.

There are also a further 11 locations including Shrewsbury Prison, Bridgnorth Bridge, Montford Bridge and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct that the engineer was involved in.

Achievements

Telford and Wrekin Council has largely funded the leaflet as part of the Telford 50 celebrations and its Managing Director Richard Partington officially launched the exhibition at Southwater Library, Telford on Wednesday.

Bernie Jones, chairman of the canals trust, said: “The Thomas Telford Trail is a great way to highlight some of the incredible achievements of the man who is largely responsible for the way our county is today.

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“To be able to do this in Telford’s 50th anniversary year pays tribute to his accomplishments but also sheds some light on some of his lesser known projects.

He was a remarkable engineer and it is testament to his skill that many of his structures and buildings are still in operation today.

“We hope the exhibition will be informative and interesting and help people learn more about the man whose name is synonymous with the town he gave his name too.”

Telford & Wrekin Council managing director Richard Partington with Bernie Jones and John Freeman of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust

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Councillor Rae Evans, cabinet member for visitor economy, said: “The Thomas Telford Trail project funded by the council is another fabulous legacy of Telford’s 50th anniversary and we would like to thank Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust for their hard work in making it happen.

“We hope many people will want to use this trail to discover the beautiful landscapes in and around our borough and its rich industrial history – and to understand the influence Thomas Telford had here.

“I am sure the trail will soon become an attraction point for residents as well as for visitors to our borough.”

To find out more information and download The Thomas Telford Trail map, visit telford50.co.uk/legacy/thomastelfordtrail

Leaflets are available to be picked up from Southwater Library, Wellington Library and Oakengates Theatre.

There is also a display board illustrating The Thomas Telford Trail in Southwater Library, ground floor until the beginning of October.

The display board will afterwards be hosted by a number of other venues in the borough later in the year.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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