Branksome East Viaduct

(Photos 1-4 © Andrew Frampton,
photo 5 © GoogleEarth/Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, photo 6 © Mike Flaherty)

Bournemouth East Station was the town's first railway terminus, opening in 1870. Four years later, Bournemouth West welcomed its first passengers. A connection between the two was made by the London & South Western Railway in 1888, involving a substantial curved viaduct of ten arches over the Bourne Valley.

Built from locally fired bricks, this is an architecturally fine structure. Four of its piers feature pilasters with plinths and capstones; there is a masonry string course and triangular insets within the spandrels. Roadways run beneath the third and eighth arches which have king piers either side of them.

In 1893, another viaduct - still operational today - was built on its west side as part of a short line that created a triangle of routes, enabling trains to bypass Bournemouth West. The leg over the viaduct was closed on 1st November 1965.

Not protected by a listing, the structure continues to lose small sections of brickwork. Its deck is overgrown.

(Mike Flaherty's photo is used under this Creative Commons licence.)

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Dec 10

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