From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Rowsley Rail Bridge

53°11'25.0"N 1°37'06.5"W
SK 2559165978

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Rowsley Rail Bridge a is Grade II listed viaduct and was part of the Midland's Rowsley - Buxton, crossing the River Derwent at Rowsley, Derbyshire.

The Midland's Rowsley-Buxton line was built between 1860 and 1863, it featured a series of viaducts, tunnels and cuttings, accommodating the railway as it passed up the often steep-sided and meandering Wye Valley. The line was an extension of Manchester Buxton Matlock & Midland Junction Railway, the first phase of which opened in 1849 between Ambergate and Rowsley.

Rowsley's original station had been sited for the line to run up the Derwent Valley, northwards towards Chatsworth, but this was altered when the Duke of Rutland made clear his support for a westerly route through the Haddon Estate and into Bakewell. This required the construction of a replacement station on the new line which branched off about 400 yards south of the original station. The original station building, which had been designed by Joseph Paxton, was used as a goods office until closure in 1967. It still exists within a shopping centre.

Rowsley Viaduct was built to cross the River Derwent, together with a retained embankment and underbridge at its western end. The bridge curves to the south and is made using coursed gritstone with rock-faced dressings. The four arches, rest on rectangular piers which have cut waters on their upstream side. The low parapets sit on plain band courses and host sets of railing. The abutments are supported by buttresses. It opened to traffic on 1st August 1862 and carried its last train on the evening of Saturday 29th June 1968.