Shillamill Viaduct

(All photos © Andrew King)

Passengers first travelled on the Plymouth Devonport & South Western Junction Railway's 22½-mile link between Lydford and Devonport on 2nd June 1890, although work on it had started in March 1887. At its northern end, it formed an end-on connection with the main line of the London & South Western Railway who duly leased it.

The twisting section between Tavistock and Bere Alston featured a tunnel of 603 yards and a 230-yard viaduct over the River Lumburn. The curved, double-track masonry structure features 12 semi-circular arches, each 50 feet in span, with a maximum height of 104½ feet. It was erected by contractor Relf & Pethick.

Although the line across the Grade II listed viaduct closed in 1968, it could reopen as part of a deal between Devon County Council and the Kilbride Group to build housing on land close to the trackbed. The developers have agreed to fund the estimated £10m construction costs. Ownership of the viaduct has been transferred to the council for this purpose.

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June 10

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