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30 July 2014

Admire Brunel's Wharncliffe Viaduct

Whilst out on a walk on Saturday in the Brent Valley, your author turned a corner into Brent Meadow to be presented with a structure over which he has passed countless times, but which is only truly admired from beneath, the Wharncliffe Viaduct. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the viaduct was constructed 1836-7 to carry the Great Western Railway which opened the next year.

The Viaduct measures 886 feet in total, compensating for the brief loss of altitude here caused by the river valley with an impressive eight arches, each with a span of 70 feet. In a sign of Brunel's pragmatic approach to getting things done, the viaduct also takes its name from Lord Wharncliffe, the chairman of the parliamentary committee helped the GWR Bill through Parliament, and carries his coat of arms. Though surrounded to the east and west by urban sprawl, the viaduct could almost be in open countryside here, and is a very pleasant sight.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wharncliffe_Viaduct

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