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200th anniversary lecture to be held to mark bridge built by 'Colossus of roads'

AN event is to take place to mark the 200th anniversary of one of the celebrated civil engineer Thomas Telford's greatest works in Scotland.

The cast-iron Craig- ellachie Bridge over the River Spey near Aberlour, Moray, was revolutionary when it was built. It is now a category A-listed structure and is to host a celebratory lecture to mark the anniversary in November.

The bridge has also been named as an engineering landmark by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The announcement came as the civil engineering industry celebrated the birthday of Telford, who was born at Glendinning Farm in Westerkirk, Dumfriesshire, on August 9 1757. The Institution of Civil Engineers described him at the weekend as one of the world's "most revered civil engineers". It added in a statement: "To this day he is considered the 'founder' of structural design, with over 1,000 aquatic bridges and aqueducts, 400 miles of canals and 1,500 miles of road to his name, gaining him the nickname 'the Colossus of roads'. He soon moved on to bigger challenges and at 24 he was appointed as the Master Mason at Somerset House in London."

Telford was responsible for the Caledonian Canal, running 60 miles from Fort William in the east to Inverness in the west.

In England, he was also responsible for London Bridge and for Montford Stone Bridge and Ellesmere Canal in Shropshire, where he was surveyor of public works. The town of Telford is named after him. Telford died in 1834, aged 77, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

To mark his birthday, Scots-based civil engineer Gordon Masterton tweeted: "Thomas Telford civil engineer par excellence - designed a Bannockburn bridge."

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