Hownes Gill Viaduct, Consett
In 1858 a graceful viaduct was built to the design of Sir Thomas Bouch across a deep and steep sided gorge, to replace two inclined planes. Listed Grade II*.
Sir Thomas Bouch
Period of construction:
1850 - 1899
Transport Trust plaque:
Northern Viaduct Trust, Castle House, Hartley, Kirkby Stephen CA17 4JJ.
Hownes Gill is a steep-sided gorge 49 m. (160 ft.) deep and 244 m. (267 yds) wide. The Stanhope and Tyne Railroad could not afford to cross it with a viaduct so they built two inclined planes, formidably steep, one at 1 in 2.5 and the other 1 in 3. Single wagons were carried sideways in cradles worked by a single stationary steam engine located at the bottom of the gorge.
When the railway was bought by the Stockton & Darlington Railway they replaced this astonishing arrangement with a graceful brick viaduct. It has twelve 15 m.(50 ft.) arches on slender piers, with arched recesses in three layers on each side.
The railway closed in 1968 and it is now a footpath.
Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)
Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J., The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, Oxford, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)
Conolly, W. Philip, British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)
Tominson, W.W., The North Eastern Railway, David & Charles, ISBN-10 0715390023 (1987)
Visible at all times.
How To Find:
By road: Off the A692 south of Consett.
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