Hownes Gill Viaduct
southwest of Consett, County Durham
Sir Thomas Bouch
date after 1841
era Victorian |
category Railway Viaduct |
ICE reference number HEW 157
Now a public footpath, Hownes Gill Viaduct gracefully spans a dry ravine southwest of Consett on what was the route of the Stanhope & Tyne Railway.
The railway opened in 1834 with a double rail-mounted inclined plane system, designed by Robert Stephenson, operating at this spot.
The western section of the line was sold in 1841 to the Derwent Iron Company and eventually came under the control of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, who commissioned the viaduct to rid themselves of the bottlenecks at the inclined planes.
Bouch's 750ft-long viaduct has 12 arches, each spanning 50ft. At the lowest point in the valley, it measures 150ft high. It carried a single rail track and is constructed in firebrick.
Its design was submitted to Stephenson, who recommended the inverted arches used under the five central piers. These are designed to reduce ground loading.
Contractor: John Anderson