Spofforth Viaduct

On 21st July 1845, a Parliamentary Act was passed authorising George Hudson's York & North Midland Railway to construct a 18½-mile line connecting Church Fenton with Harrogate. The route was staked out two months later and opened as far as Spofforth on 10th August 1847. The remainder of the line into Harrogate involved major engineering works including the 31-arch Crimple (Valley) Viaduct and two tunnels totalling 1,240 yards. It was completed on 20th July 1848. The whole venture cost the company £607,000. The route was unfavourably graded, with one 5½-mile section rising continuously at 1:101 or steeper.

Just to the west of Spofforth Station, the line crossed a small viaduct of five spans, 35 feet in height and a little over 30 yards long. Beyond it was a substantial embankment running to the south-west side of Spofforth Castle. The viaduct is mostly stone-built, but boasts segmental brick arches. A right of way passes beneath the central span.

The section of line from Wetherby South to Crimple Junction - across the viaduct - was amongst the first to be closed as a result of the Beeching recommendations, and was torn from the Sectional Appendix on 6th January 1964.

The viaduct's two easternmost spans stand in the back garden of a house; ownership of the structure comes with the property. In 2013 both were put up for sale at an asking price of £450,000. The condition of the viaduct is not great, with considerable weathering of the stone and a crack running up the north side of the parapet, resulting in the end spandrel face being pushed outwards.

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May 13

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