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PARNELL, Sir Henry

A treatise on roads; wherein the principles on which roads should be made are explained and illustrated, by the plans, specifications, and contracts made use of by Thomas Telford, Esq. on the Holyhead Road.
London, Printed for Longman, Rees, Orme etc., 1833

Throughout the 18th century, vehicular traffic was seen by the turnpike trusts as a liability which caused expensive damage to their roads, and they attempted to impose regulations to keep road use, and therefore maintenance, to a minumum.

Parnell was largely instrumental in transforming attitudes to road transport by his championing of the Holyhead mailroad project, one of the earliest large-scale Government-sponsored civil engineering schemes.

As Chairman of the Holyhead Road Commissioners, he became a close friend of Telford, engineer to the road, and his book appeared as it was nearing completion. It forms the best source of information on Telford's methods of road building as well as on general principles of slopes, drainage, foundations, paving and surfacing and embanking so necessary for a good road and so much neglected by the turnpike trusts. Also included is an unrecorded report of June 1824 by Telford on the paving and surfacing of streets in the parish of St.George, Hanover Square, London.

This is the first edition of the treatise; a second edition appeared in 1838.


8vo. xii + 438 + (2)pp, 7 folding engraved plates. Quarter calf. Ownership inscription of Neal Dow (“Father of Prohibition”). Skempton No.1041.



Catalogue No: 4547