Man Of Iron - Thomas Telford And The Building Of Britain

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052017020320170204 (R4)

Telford died at the dawn of rail travel, little knowing how long his legacy would endure.

Julian Glover's biography of Thomas Telford: a shepherd's son, born in the Scottish Borders in 1757, who revolutionised British engineering and set the stage for the Industrial Revolution.

Telford built churches, harbours, canals, docks and the famously vertiginous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales. He invented the modern road and created the backbone of Britain's road network. His bridges are some of the most dramatic and beautiful ever built, most of all the Menai Bridge, which spans the dangerous channel between the mainland and Anglesey.

With his death in September 1834, just as the railway age was dawning, Telford had little idea of how lasting his legacy would be: he shaped the lives of the Victorian civil engineers who followed him and almost everything he built is still in use today.

Reader: Robin Laing

Writer: Julian Glover

Abridger: David Jackson Young

Producer: Kirsteen Cameron.