Although Parliament gave powers for an alternative route from Blackburn to Padiham in 1866, problems with Martholme Viaduct delayed the line’s opening for more than a decade. Eventually it was decided to engineer the structure from stone rather than timber.
To ensure its long-term stability, local bigwig and landowner James Lomax accepted a payment of £1,800 as compensation for not mining coal from beneath the structure.
Martholme comprises ten 40-foot arches, two of which span the River Calder. It is hoped that a footpath will eventually cross the structure but there are landowner issues at the eastern side.