Lambley Viaduct

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Lambley Viaduct
Lambley Viaduct
Coordinates54°55′08″N 2°30′31″W / 54.9190°N 2.5085°W / 54.9190; -2.5085
OS grid referenceNY675584
CrossesRiver South Tyne
Preceded byEals Footbridge
Followed byLambley Footbridge
Total length260 m (850 ft)
Width3.5 m (11 ft)
HeightAt least 33 m (108 ft)
No. of spans9
Piers in water3
DesignerProbably Sir George Barclay Bruce[1]
Construction end1852
Opened1852 (1852)
Closed3 May 1976 (1976-05-03), as a railway
TypeGrade II listed building
Designated23 August 1985[1]
Reference no.1042918

Lambley Viaduct is a stone bridge across the River South Tyne at Lambley in Northumberland. Formerly a railway bridge, it remains open to pedestrians but one end of the viaduct has been fenced off.


A train crossing the viaduct in September 1973

Lambley viaduct crosses the River South Tyne as a series of elegant stone arches. More than 260 m (850 ft) long, it once carried the Haltwhistle to Alston railway. The railway, which was opened in 1852 to haul coal and lead from the Alston mines, closed in 1976, and the viaduct was allowed to decay.[2] In 1991 the British Rail Property Board agreed to repair the viaduct and hand it over to the North Pennine Heritage Trust which would maintain it in the future; however the Trust went into administration in 2011.[3]

The viaduct was probably designed by George Barclay Bruce,[1] a Victorian engineer who was involved in the Alston line before leaving for India to pioneer railway construction there. It is a particularly elegant example of Victorian engineering: the river is crossed by nine 17-metre (56 ft) wide arches which support a deck at least 33 m (108 ft) above the river[1] but, as it carried a single rail track, only 3.5 m (11 ft) wide. The piers to the arches are built of massive rough-faced stones each weighing up to 500 kilograms (1,100 lb), with similar-sized stones in ashlar to the main arch voussoirs. The spandrels and piers to the 6-metre (20 ft) wide approach arches are built of coursed rubble masonry.[4]

One end of the viaduct has been fenced off, after the path was diverted in 2004 to pass further away from Lambley railway station, which is now a private house.[4]

It is a Grade II* listed structure.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Historic England, "Railway Viaduct Across River South Tyne (Grade II*) (1042918)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 5 September 2018
  2. ^ "River South Tyne - Lambley Viaduct". Bridges on the Tyne. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  3. ^ "North Pennines Heritage Trust collapses". The Journal. Newcastle upon Tyne: Trinity Mirror. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2016. The trust, with 400 members and a team of volunteers, also owns Alston Arches and the Lambley Viaduct at Haltwhistle.
  4. ^ a b "Lambley Viaduct". Blacket-Ord Consulting Engineers. Archived from the original on 7 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2008.

Next bridge upstream River South Tyne Next bridge downstream
Eals Footbridge
Lambley Viaduct
Grid reference NY675584
Lambley Footbridge