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Menai Bridge, Gwynedd, Wales - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"


Menai Bridge is a small town and community on the Isle of Anglesey in north-west Wales. It overlooks the Menai Strait and lies by the Menai Suspension Bridge, built in 1826 by Thomas Telford, just over the water from Bangor.

The town existed as Porthaethwy for centuries and still has a house which dates from the 17th century. The name derives from Porth (harbour) + Daethwy (the name of a local Celtic tribe and later of a local medieval commote). It is likely that a community existed here in Roman times as it is the shortest crossing of the Menai Strait.

In the 9th century, St Tysilio lived here as a hermit on Church Island.

A ferry across the Menai was first recorded in 1292. When the bridge opened in 1826, the ferry closed, but connections with the sea remained through the import, export and shipbuilding trades.

From 1877 to 1920, the ship HMS Clio was docked at Menai Bridge; it was lent to the North Wales Society to teach young men the ways of seafaring. Many local people believed the ship was used for some type of prison, but this was not entirely true. The ship was home to young men who were in need of discipline to keep them from getting into serious trouble; some were sent to the Clio against their will. The young men on the Clio were not permitted to leave the ship; some of the corporal punishment administered was cruel.

In 1914, Belgian refugees from Mechelen who had settled in the area built a promenade out of gratitude for the town’s hospitality. The promenade was built along the Menai Strait from Ynys Tysilio (Church Island) to Carreg yr Halen and was completed in 1916.

On 12 November 1918, Major Thomas Elmhirst, commanding officer of RNAS Anglesey, flew airship SSZ73 under the Menai Bridge following the armistice at the end of World War I.

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