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Birthplace of John Metcalf
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
associated engineer
John Metcalf
date  1717
era  Georgian  |  category  Birthplace of Engineer  |  reference  SE350570
The birthplace of John Metcalf (1717-1809), the first of the three great English road engineers, who was blinded by smallpox at the age of six.
In 1765, having made his living through a variety of manual and semi-skilled jobs, Metcalf was commissioned to construct a three mile stretch of the new turnpike road between Harrogate and Borraghbridge. This commission was soon followed by another for the road from Harrogate to Knaresborough, which lay partly through a bog. For this, Metcalf developed a layering technique later used by George Stephenson to lay the Liverpool-Manchester rail track over Chat Moss.
By the time he died, Metcalf had executed contracts worth 65,000 and laid 180 miles of road in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire. He worked as an engineer until the age of 70, when he retired to write his biography. He died at the age of 92.
reference sources   LG/SJ
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Birthplace of John Metcalf