It is believed that Thomas Dadford Jnr was born in Wolverhampton, the first son of Thomas Dadford and Frances Brown. He started engineering canals when he was just 16. In 1792 he was appointed engineer of the Monmouthshire Canal which includes a flight of 14 locks and a four-arch aqueduct over the river Usk. This canal was completed in 1798, but Thomas had already begun work in 1795 on the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal with its massive embankment carrying the canal over the river Clydach at Gilwern.
He was only 40 when he died at Crickhowell in 1801, still working on the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal, which was eventually completed in 1812, linking Brecon with Newport and the Severn Estuary. It stopped being used as a commercial waterway in 1930, but today holiday boats navigate this waterway through spectacular scenery.
Where to Visit?
Visit the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal - an engineering feat that is still used today. A plaque at the Fourteen Locks Centre near Newport remembers the achievements of Thomas Dadford Junior.
The Neath Canal is also a great place to see Dadford's impressive engineering designs.