CONSTRUCTION OF THE IMPROVED ROAD OVER PENMAENMAWR

Click for image of 1851 printed version

The following are draughts of papers referring to what was once a work of great local importance:-

"Pen maen Mawr in ye Road from Chester to Hollyhead being at Prsent too well known for its Deep & Dangerous passage, it’s propos’d for ye greater safty and encouragemt of those whose occasions bring ym that way to make ye Road over ye sd Penmayn-mawr (as has:been long Desird) fu1l 3 yards Broad wth a wall between it & ye precipice to ye seaward so as to afford a good & free Passage for a Coach & any horse man yt hapens to meet it, & for ye more Effectuall carrying on that work wth all possible Expedition yt Rt Hnble the Ld Viscount Bulkeley does voluntaryly & freely engage to undertake ye Trouble of Directing & forwarding ye sd Worke as yt it may be perfected in 12 months after ye Receipt of such Subscriptions as shall be necessary to Defray ye charge thereof. This Proposall haveing been lay’d before ye Duke of Ormond & his Grace being pleased to recommend it to ye Nobility Gentry & Merchants of Ireland and meeting with encouragement there my Ld B: has caus’d Able and sufficient Workmen to view ye Road. And on theire Report it’s found yt ye great storms wch that place is subject to have eaten ye loose earth underneath ye Road that if there be not some effectuall care taken to prevent it in a short time it will become impassable, so that there must be Bullwarks built in several places from ye Bottom of ye Hill up to ye Road to preserve ye way wch will be broader than first propos’d viz. - in ye narrowest place full four yards wide & in other places 6 & 7 yards at least & for ye securing ye loose stones & earth wch are above ye Road its propos’d that a strong Wall of severall Hights must be Built, to prevent these falling into ye Road. Upon this view it is found yt ye sum allready raised being far short of effecting ye work & impracticable to make a true Estimate of ye Charge of so great an undertakeing, it being much more Difficult than was Expected by Reason of ye great Bullwarks, Walls, &c., that must be Built. The Assistance given by Ireland being so considerable it’s hop’d will encourage ye English Gentlemen, but especially ym whose occupons cause them to travaile that Road generously to assist in so publicke a Good."

In the handwriting of Lord Viscount Bulkeley:-

"That there has been able and sufficient workmen to view the road over Penmaen Maur, and we find it to be a work of that nature, that I shall be obliged to be undertaker my selfe. And for that End have appointed 2 of the neighbouring gentlemen to oversee the work in my absence. No man as yett can give any guess att the Charge, but every body is of oppinion that it may be done with safety and well secured. I Propose the road to be full four yds in the narrowest part and six or seaven in a great many places for the conveneniency of carrages. We found upon the View that Was made, that the loose Earth under neath the road is eaten by the Weather, that there must be Bullwarks built in severall places from the Bottom of the Hill up to the Road, and a wall of a great length and a great many hights to support the great stones and loose earth above the road from falling into itt. And it will be necessary to lower some parts of, and raise it in other places, that the assent may be the easier, and a Battlement to the seaward all those things."

This paper was intended for circulation:-

"PROPOSALL FOR MAKEING A GOOD ROAD OVER PEN-MAEN-MAWR IN WALES, BETWEEN CONWAY AND BEAUMARES BY SUBSCRIPTION

Penmaen-mawr in the Road from Holyhead to Chester being at present too well known for its steep and dangerous passage, it is proposed for the greater safty and encouragement of those whose occations bring them that way, to make the Roade over the said Pen-maen-maur (as has been long desired) full three yards broad with a wall between it and the precipice to the seaward, so as to afford a good and free Passage for a Coach, and any horse man that happen to meet it, and for the more effectuall carrying on that work with all possible expedition, the Rt Honble the Lord Buckley does vduntarily and freely encourage to undertake the trouble of directing and forwarding the said worke, as that it may be perfected in 12 months after the receipt of such Subscriptions as shall be necessary to defray the Charge thereof. His Grace the Duke of Ormonde Lord Lieutenant of Ireland thinking it of great advantage and convenience to the Nobility, Gentry, and Merchants of Ireland, traveling to and from London: that a good Road should be made over Penmaen-mawr, does recomend the above Proposall to their encouragement."