Ancient Monuments

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The Holyhead Road: the Chirk Embankment and earlier trackways

A Scheduled Monument in Chirk (Y Waun), Wrexham (Wrecsam)

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Latitude: 52.9296 / 52°55'46"N

Longitude: -3.058 / 3°3'28"W

OS Eastings: 328975

OS Northings: 337439

OS Grid: SJ289374

Mapcode National: GBR 73.MFPB

Mapcode Global: WH89J.0M2F

Entry Name: The Holyhead Road: the Chirk Embankment and earlier trackways

Scheduled Date: 21 September 2009

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4017

Cadw Legacy ID: DE288

Schedule Class: Transport

Category: Road

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Wrexham (Wrecsam)

Community: Chirk (Y Waun)

Built-Up Area: Chirk

Traditional County: Denbighshire


In 1810, Thomas Telford surveyed and recommended the route for the Holyhead Road through north Wales, some 83 miles, with work beginning in 1815 and completed in 1826. Construction of the Holyhead Road was not only the pinnacle of Thomas Telford's engineering achievements, it was also a landmark event in the history of British engineering, being the first major civil engineering project directly funded by parliament. The embankment was one of the major works on the Holyhead Road. The monument comprises the Chirk Embankment, a substantial straight and evenly sloped earthen embankment; and the steep and irregular sections of turnpike road and earlier trackways that the embankment replaced. The gradually rising earthen embankment carries the road for a length of about 200m as it approaches from the SE before the road dog-legs gently towards the E and traverses the slope of the hill. The grass-covered braided trackways and route of the earlier turnpike are situated on the hill slope to the SE of the upper section of road.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of post-medieval/early industrial transport systems. The monument forms an important element within the wider context of the post-medieval development of Wales and the structure may contain well preserved archaeological evidence concerning chronology, layout and building techniques.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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