From Monmouthshire to Carmarthenshire William Edwards of Pontypridd and his son David built many of these new bridges.
William Edwards was born in 1719and fame and success was to attend him after he built the 140-foot span bridge across the Taff at Pontypridd. His first attempt at a one-span bridge failed when the weight of its haunches caused it to collapse. To overcome this problem Edwards incorporated arched cylindrical holes in the haunches, which reduced the weight and pressure.
At the same time the arched masonry built into the spandrels tied the walls together and strengthened them against any tendency to buckle. This brilliant solution to a difficult engineering problem enabled William Edwards to complete the Pontypridd Bridge in 1756.
The holed spandrel became a feature of many subsequent bridges that were built by William and David Edwards, and the holed spandrels of Cenarth Bridge seemed therefore, to link it with the Edwards family of Pontypridd. Proof was eventually found in the Order Books of the Cardiganshire Justices of the Peace at Quarter Sessions.
previous page..........next page