NZ1125 : Skew railway bridge over River Gaunless

taken 7 years ago, near to Butterknowle, County Durham, Great Britain

Skew railway bridge over River Gaunless
Skew railway bridge over River Gaunless
Locally known as the 'Swin' or 'Swing Bridge' NZ1125 : Skew Bridge

Near the end of the branch at Butterknowle, it was necessary to cross the river on a skew. A skew railway arch had only been constructed once before, by George Stephenson at Rainhill. The resulting stone bridge is notable for its exceptionally low span of just 2 m (7 ft). The skew angle is 27 degrees and every stone used in the construction of the 19 foot arch had to be cut to that angle. The bridge was built in 1830 to a design of Thomas Storey by James Wilson of Pontefract.

The bridge was a controversial element of the engineering plan, with many predicting that it would prove capable of carrying heavy rail traffic. In fact, when the wooden building-supports were withdrawn, the bridge settled by less than 12.5 mm (0.5 in) and it remained in regular use until 30 September 1963, when the section west of Evenwood Colliery was closed. Still standing, the structure is Listed Grade II LinkExternal link

Looking across the river to Jane Pit Houses, a memory of Jane Pit part of the former East Butterknowle Colliery. Abbot's Houses (right) are above the disused line of the Woodlands Branch Railway, a branch of the former mainline just east of the Gaunless Viaduct.
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NZ1125, 29 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 21 August, 2015   (more nearby)
Sunday, 23 August, 2015
Geographical Context
Uplands  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Railways  Derelict, Disused 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1177 2561 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:37.5297N 1:49.1531W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 11846 25488
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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