Ancient Monuments

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Kielder Viaduct

A Scheduled Monument in Kielder, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2246 / 55°13'28"N

Longitude: -2.5798 / 2°34'47"W

OS Eastings: 363214.643745

OS Northings: 592421.895987

OS Grid: NY632924

Mapcode National: GBR B8F0.8X

Mapcode Global: WH8ZN.BYR3

Entry Name: Kielder Viaduct

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1969

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002913

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 472

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kielder

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Falstone with Greystead and Thorneyburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a mid 19th century railway viaduct which spans the River North Tyne shortly before it enters Bakethin Reservoir. The multi span viaduct which once carried the Border Counties Railway, is built of squared masonry in the baronial style with a castellated parapet and false arrowslits in the voussoirs. The arches are skewed meaning that each stone had to be specially shaped to fit. The viaduct was designed by John Furness Tone, with Peter Nicholson devising the method for shaping the stone for the skew arch and William Hutchison acting as contractor. It was completed in 1862 and eventually closed to passengers in 1956 and to freight in 1958.

PastScape Monument No:- 14588
NMR:- NY69SW21
Northumberland HER:- 6276

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Railway viaducts are usually multi span structures of two or more arches supported on piers used to carry rail. Their development is linked closely with the inception and growth of the railway transport network, which began with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825 followed by rapid expansion throughout the 19th century and early 20th century. The development of the rail network required the preparation of straight, flat routes and necessitated the crossing of widely varied terrain through a series of engineering works including tunnels, cuttings, embankments, bridges and viaducts. Railway viaducts were built to connect points of similar height separated by topographical features such as river valleys. As an integral part of the railway network, viaducts are representative of a technological and engineering phenomenon that was initiated in Britain and allowed the industrial revolution to flourish permanently transforming the socioeconomic status of the country. As such, early, well-preserved or architecturally outstanding examples of railway viaducts are deemed to be of national importance.
Kielder viaduct survives exceptionally well and is one of the finest surviving examples of skew arch form construction in England. As such it is an excellent example of it class and provides insight into the engineering feats involved in the development of the rail transport network, a process that transformed the economy and society of England.

Source: Historic England

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