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Quartermaine, Jamie (1999) TELFORD'S HOLYHEAD ROAD, (A5) NORTH WALES ARCHAEOLGICAL SURVEY REPORT. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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This report presents the results of a study by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit (LUAU) commissioned by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments and the Welsh Office Highways Directorate. The study was commissioned to assess the archaeological and historical significance of remains
associated with Thomas Telford's Holyhead-London road within Wales, built between 1815 and 1828. The route runs from Holyhead at the north-western tip of Anglesey, to Chirk Bridge on the Welsh/English border. One of the recommendations of the management strategy for the A5, Llandegai to Chirk, published by the Welsh Office in May 1997, was that this study should be undertaken. The strategy recognised the historical importance of the road and Acknowledged that several planned improvements would further reduce its integrity. In particular the A5 west of Llandegai to Holyhead has already been the subject of several modern, off-line improvements, and a new route is to be constructed across Anglesey. The status and the use by vehicles of the original road will change in the coming years, and it is hoped that some of the heavier freight traffic will be diverted away from it. The study was to include not only features such as the characteristic toll houses, which are often protected as listed buildings, but also structural engineering features integral to the road which have
sometimes been overlooked, for example the drains, embankments, cuttings and floating foundations
which Telford used to counter the uneven terrain of north Wales. After a discussion and a rapid field visit in the company of Rick Turner of Cadw and Barrie Trinder,
consultant historian to the project, the principles on which to conduct data collection, fieldwork and data processing were agreed. Record forms were designed and agreed upon by all parties. The initial task of the programme involved the collation of documentary records for the road, and in
particular a comprehensive set of specifications prepared in long hand by Telford for the whole of the route. This was followed by a programme of fieldwork which was undertaken in October 1998. This involved a rapid but thorough inspection of the road, with archaeologists visiting each section of the road and recording its main features on record sheets and in photographs. Each feature was investigated and recorded in conjunction with the Telford specifications, and it was therefore possible to make an assessment of the survival and condition of the road features. The textual description was transferred to a database, which was designed in accordance with compatibility with the Gwynedd and the Clwyd Powys SMRs. The survey data was incorporated with scanned rasta data of the OS first edition maps within a CAD system and the overall route was divided into 2.5km long sections within the CAD system (54 planlets in all).
During the fieldwork and subsequent analysis, a distinctive 'signature' emerged of Telford's road. Field workers developed a clear sense of the difference between features belonging to the original Telford road, and features added during subsequent maintenance or alteration. Recommendations
were accordingly made for the future preservation and presentation of the features associated with the historic road.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > Welsh Unitary Authorities > Gwynedd
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 10:31
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6550

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