Ribblehead Viaduct

By: JohnnyTomorrow

Aug 03 2012

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Photography


Focal Length:14mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Conditions proved difficult in trying to catch this image as I found myself at the viaduct at the wrong time of the day when the sun was streaming from behind it and i had to wait for a bit of cloud cover to allow me to expose correctly. The resulting shot makes for a moody image showing the bleakness of the moor and the lonely atmospheric place this is.

The stone arches of this 400-metre long viaduct rise 32 metres above Batty Moor.

Constructing the Settle Carlisle Railway was a massive engineering feat. 35 miles of its 72-mile length lie within the Yorkshire Dales National Park

It opened in 1876 and .was the last railway to be built in Britain using almost all manual labour. It took 6,000 men seven years to build.

Many of the workers lived at the Ribblehead construction site which is still well-preserved today. It was the first such construction camp in the country to be archeologically surveyed and scheduled as an ancient monument and was large enough to contain:

a hospital
post office
many shops
mission house
public houses

Hundreds of railway builders (“navvies”) lost their lives building the line, from a combination of accidents, fights, and smallpox outbreaks. In particular, building the Ribblehead (then Batty Moss) viaduct, with its 24 massive stone arches 104 feet (32 metres) above the moor, caused such loss of life that the railway paid for an expansion of the local graveyard.

Memorials along the line, especially those at St Mary’s Church Outhgill and St Leonards’ Church, Chapel-le-dale commemorate the lives of some of the men who died building the line.

2 comments on “Ribblehead Viaduct”

  1. Beautiful in monochrome.. I am a great lover of Viaducts and their history.. you might enjoy my Harringworth Viaduct series .. http://helensphotomania.wordpress.com/tag/harringworth-viaduct/

  2. Great b&w shot of this magnificent viaduct!

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