Wribbenhall Viaduct

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Wribbenhall Viaduct from Kidderminster Road
Wribbenhall Viaduct (Bridge 11), also referred to as Bewdley North Viaduct, is situated immediately north of Bewdley station where it can be seen from the platforms. It is listed Grade II by Historic England for its special architectural or historic interest.[1]

Construction and repairs

Small repair with date plaque

The viaduct was built from 1859; the Chief Engineer and Resident Engineer being John Fowler and Henry Bridgeman who were also responsible for Victoria Bridge. The viaduct is 112 yards in length, with seven brick arches of 25ft span and a larger skew arch of 48ft 9in span over the Kidderminster Road.[2] Wet weather in December 1860 impeded construction, causing a supporting wall to the embankment to collapse.[3]

The viaduct was originally built using a combination of red brick and locally quarried sandstone. The latter was prone to weathering, and in 1915 large sections were cut out and replaced by blue engineering bricks, as can be seen on the main photograph.[4] The neighbouring Accommodation bridge off Northwood Lane underwent similar repairs at that time which included a date plaque set into the bricks. The large repair in the main photograph appears to have included a similar plaque near the top, although this is no longer legible. A smaller repair nearby carries a date plaque dated 7-1915.

The winter of 1992/93 saw a major refurbishment by the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society including installing a waterproof membrane and relaying of the track bed.[4] The viaduct has seen further major refurbishments since. In February 2018 work started on the long wing wall by contractors (Walsh Construction Ltd), using the same Cumbrian sandstone from St Bees quarry that the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society have used elsewhere on the viaduct.[5]

Former footbridge north of Wribbenhall Viaduct

North of Wribbenhall Viaduct, the Tenbury and Bewdley Railway and Severn Valley Railway ran parallel for around a mile on the left and right hand lines respectively. On 15 March 1892 the GWRGreat Western Railway Engineering Committee authorised construction of a plated girder passenger footbridge a short way north of the Viaduct, connecting Northwood Lane and Summer Hill. This was later demolished in the 1930s, although the brick footing on the Summer Hill side of the line is still visible next to the track bed.[2]

See also

Towards Kidderminster
List of infrastructure
Towards Bridgnorth
Railway Navvies of the SVR

References

  1. Wribbenhall Viaduct on the Historic England list
  2. 2.02.1 Marshall (1989) p. 94.
  3. Shrewsbury Chronicle - Friday 28 December 1860
  4. 4.04.1 SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 106, “Bewdley Viaduct” (John Marshall)
  5. SVRLive, 'Winter Works 2018', 21 March 2018