Heritage Locations

Smardale Gill Viaduct

Designed by Sir Thomas Bouch (of first Tay Bridge fame), this dramatic viaduct near Kirkby Stephen was built in 1861. It is listed Grade II*.

Sir Thomas Bouch

Period of construction:
1850 - 1899

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

Northern Viaduct Trust, Castle House, Hartley, Kirkby Stephen, CA17 4JJ

CA17 4JJ

Nearest Town:
Kirkby Stephen

Heritage Centre:

The setting of this fine viaduct lends drama to its appearance as it crosses from one side of a narrow valley to the other, winding its way upward. It was designed by Sir Thomas Bouch for the South Durham & Lancashire Railway, later North Eastern, in 1861. It was but one of several impressive structures on this cross-country railway from Barnard Castle (see OTH entry) over Stainmore to Kirkby Stephen and Tebay. This is probably the most exciting survivor and is listed Grade II*.

It is in the local pink sandstone and 168 m. long. with 14 arches and a maximum height above ground of 27 m.(90 ft.). It was restored by the Northern Viaducts Trust.


Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S.,
The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J. The Oxford Companion to British Railway History. 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)

Fawcett, Bill. A History of North Eastern Railway Architecture, Vols 1-3. North Eastern Railway Association

Holmes, Peter John, Stockton and Darlington Railway,1825-1975, First Avenue, ISBN-10: 0950449008 (1975)

Rapley, John. Thomas Bouch. Tempus Publishing

Semmens, P. W. B., Stockton and Darlington: One Hundred and Fifty Years of British Railways, New English Library, ISBN-10: 0450027732 (1975)

Smith, Martin. British Railway bridges and Viaducts. ISBN 0 7110 2273 9 (1994)

Walton,P. The Stainmore and Eden Valley Railways. ISBN 0 86093 306 7 (1993)


Opening Times:
Visible at all times.

How To Find:
By Road: It can only be reached on foot along footpaths near Kirkby Stephen.

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