The Local Area
The town owes its beginnings to it's location at the narrowest crossing point of the Menai Strait. It has been an important crossing point of the treacherous waters for many thousands of years, indeed artifacts from the Bronze Age through to the Romans have been found in Menai Bridge
The first written documentation of Menai Bridge concerned the Battle of Porthaethwy in 1194, when Llywelyn the Great defeated his uncle Rhodri, son of Owain Gwynedd.
The Menai Bridge was, and is, a remarkable piece of engineering - a fact that was celebrated when the structure featured on the reverse side of a £1 coin issued in 2005. The Menai Bridge remains the major route for people travelling by car to and from Holyhead, nearly 200 years after it was first opened - some achievement.
Although most of the old businesses have stopped or have moved to bigger sites, there are a number of specialist businesses based in the town providing services. A walk down the high street shows the variety of different services available; butcher, general hardware store, kitchen design centre, antiques shops, estate agents, banks, cafes, stationers and many more.
Menai Suspension Bridge: The jewel in the crown of the Town of Menai Bridge, indeed one of the jewels of North Wales, is the Menai Suspension Bridge. The bridge dominates the town, and what a bridge! We would recommend anybody to pay a visit to the base of the Bridge at the water's edge to appreciate its splendour: huge dressed limestone blocks form the columns that are topped with elegant arches. It gives a lie to the old adage that man can't improve on nature.
The Britannia Bridge remained in use and was claimed to be the most easily maintained railway bridge in Britain, until 1970 when the bridge caught fire. A group of local youths exploring the tubes of the bridge accidentally dropped their burning torch and the bridge caught fire. Some of the tubes were visibly sagging after the fire and the bridge was classed unsafe. It was not until four years later that normal rail services across to Anglesey were resumed.
During reconstruction after the fire the bridge changed dramatically. The tubes were no longer used and the deck was supported by arches spanning between the towers. The original towers remain but have also been altered to suit the new design of the bridge. In 1980, ten years after the fire a road deck opened above the railway on the bridge, which carries the A55 across to Anglesey.