Show Navigation

Trade, Commerce & Industry

Thomas Telford

Thomas Telford

Thomas Telford is one of the greatest architects and civil engineers Britain has produced. He is most noted for his roads, bridges and canals. He was born in Glendinning in the Parish of Westerkirk, near Langholm, Dumfriesshire on 9th August 1757. Telford's father, a shepherd, died soon after he was born. He was raised in poverty by his mother and attended the parish school. He had a great quest for learning. After reading a copy of 'Paradise Lost' he said, "I read and read and glowred and then I read and read again." At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a stonemason, and some of his earliest work can still be seen on the bridge across the River Esk in Langholm. It was his ambition to be an architect. In 1780 he worked for a time in Edinburgh. At the time many engineering books were written in French and he taught himself the language so that he could read them.

Read More