Tour Locations | Discovering Conwy: The Medieval Walled Town on a Waterfront
Keep going towards the bridge.
On your left is the original toll-gate of the famous sunburst pattern and on the right is the toll keeper's cottage to make sure you paid to cross. Telford really wanted to complement Edward's castle and, not only angled the bridge to look like a castle drawbridge, but also designed battlements and towers for the bridge and toll cottage to blend in with its earlier neighbour.
Take a look over the parapet to the left at Robert Stephenson's railway bridge. He tested several shapes of tube and settled on a wrought iron box girder construction which is still used by the trains today. If you hear a rumbling it is most-likely not thunder but the Holyhead Express going through. Again, this railway bridge was a brother to one over the Menai essential to the Chester to Holyhead railway.
However, this crossing still has its original wrought iron casing. The Britannia Bridge over the Menai suffered a great fire in the 70s and was replaced by steel when a road deck was also placed on top.
The prefabricated construction method was also new at the time with the tubes being built upriver and gloated into position. The round pillars supporting from underneath were added in 1899. Stephenson also castellated the towers to match.
Look over on the right to see the view of Conwy quayside framed by the 1950s road bridge. The direction the water is flowing will, of course depend on the tide. The river flows down from your left taking the rain from Snowdonia's mountains. The tidal range is around 15 feet.
In front of you of course is Conwy Castle and from this angle you can see how impregnable it must have seemed. The view is of the Eastern Barbican where the King and Queen had their apartments and Edward's wife Eleanor is said to have had a garden.
Continue across the bridge.