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British Industrial History

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Marple Viaduct

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Viaduct viewed from Marple Aqueduct

in Marple, Cheshire

Built alongside Marple Aqueduct by the MS&LR in 1863, to carry the Marple, New Mills and Hayfield Railway that serves Marple Station.

Made mainly from stone, with one wrought iron girder span. There are twelve stone arches (with repairs in engineering brick - see photo). The viaduct crosses a road, the Peak Forest Canal, and the River Goyt 38m below.[1]

1862 'Marple Viaduct. — The interesting event of keying in the last arch of the Marple viaduct, on the Hyde and Marple Extension Branch of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, took place on Saturday, in the presence of a very large number of people, upwards of 6,000 being on the ground. The ceremony of setting the stone was performed by Mr. Samuel Lees, one of the directors. After the stone had been lowered and set in its place, Mr. Lees addressed the assembly at considerable length, dwelling especially upon the great contrast in the length of time taken to construct the present viaduct, and that of the aqueduct which carries the Peak Forest Canal over the same valley, and which is only distant from the viaduct about 30 yards. The first stone for the aqueduct was laid in May 1793, and the structure completed in May 1800, having been 7 years construction. The aqueduct consists of three arches of 60 feet span each. Its height from the bed of the river — the Goyt — being 97 feet, and it contains 8,000 cubic yards of masonry; whereas the viaduct has thirteen arches, of 50 feet span each ; its height from the bed of the river is 135 feet, and contains 18,000 cubic yards of masonry. It is constructed entirely of stone. The first stone was laid on the 24th September, 1861. Consequently, the time occupied in the construction of it had been rather under twelve months. The work has been carried out from and under the superintendence of Mr. J. G. Blackburne, of Oldham, the engineer for the line. The contractors are Messrs. Benton and Woodiwiss. The viaduct will be open for traffic in about two months.— Mr. Lees also spoke of the very great benefit the line would confer upon the district, as it would, in conjunction with the Midland Railway from Rowsley (now in progress of being made, and which will join this line at New-mills), open out the shortest route from Manchester to London; also giving another and entirely independent line. It will pass through some of the most beautiful scenery in Derbyshire, running from Marple along the valley of the Goyt to near Chapel-en-le-frith ; thence through Dove Holes Dale to Blackwell Mill, near Buxton, and thence along the valley of the Wye to Rowsley, near Chatsworth. It is expected that the Midland portion of this railway will be completed in about two years.'[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Historic England website - Marple Railway Viaduct
  2. Glossop Record - Saturday 27 September 1862