V is for Victorian Viaducts

No matter how much progress we make in the modern world, it is impossible to escape our Victorian past when all around us are monuments to the golden age of engineering which is why this week I’m looking at Victorian viaducts.

Above is a photo of the most recognisable landmark in Stockport — the Edgeley Viaduct. It was completed in 1840 to carry the main railway line from Manchester south into Cheshire as it still does today.

Designed by George Watson Buck, it was a major feat of Victorian engineering and a key pioneering structure of the railway age. It took 21 months to build and is made up of layer upon layer of common bricks — 11 million of them — and 600 men were employed in its construction working round the clock.

It is virtually impossible to get all of its 27 arches into a photograph, at least for an amateur snapper like me. The photo above was taken from Wellington Bridge, overlooking the bus station and is actually several photos stitched together.

The next Victorian viaduct is also in Stockport and is found in Reddish Vale Country Park. It is again a brick built structure completed in 1875, a sixteen arch bridge to carry the Hope Valley railway line across the River Tame.

There is a legend that a local witch was disturbed by the construction of the viaduct and cursed both it and anyone who tries to count the number of arches. Since it still stands 135 year, the curse could not have been particularly effective one, although I took care not to count the arches myself!

Dinting Viaduct is in Glossop, Derbyshire, and was first built in 1842 where the original railway line ended.

The Bahamas Locomotive Society created the Dinting Railway Museum nearby. The Bahamas in the title is not taken from the Caribbean island, but was the name of a steam train built in 1935 and withdrawn from service in 1966.

The society closed the museum in 1991, moving their collection to Ingow West railway station, near Keighley in West Yorkshire.

Finally Broadbottom Viaduct which was constructed in 1842 and spans the county boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire.

It stands 120 feet high and over 400 feet long and carries the railway across the steep sides of the River Etherow valley from Manchester to Sheffield. You can see from the photo that there is maintenance work going on.

As usual, you can click on images to see them full size.

ABC Wednesday Round 7

Victor and Voice by Ramblin’ Roger

Vespamania at Rinkly Rimes

Victoria Market Hall at Ashton-under-Lyne

Variety at Deckside Thoughts

Varmints by Flamblogger

Very Special Baby at Mrs Nesbitt’s Place

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • rog 15th December 2010

    are viaducts vivid, vital, and virtuous? i vote yes.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Mr Parrot 15th December 2010

    Virtually vertical that’s for sure!

  • Yorkshire Pudding 16th December 2010

    The stitched viaduct photo is so well-stitched one can’t see the joins. You must have used a very thin thread. Not many fellows can boast such excellent embroidery skills. Any chance you can sew a couple of buttons on my favourite nineteen eighties shirt?

  • Mr Parrot 17th December 2010

    Needlepoint is one of my hidden talents, or at least it was until I blew the gaff here. I’m hopeless at buttons though.


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