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Monument record MDR10323 - Railway bridge over Derby Canal, Nottingham Road, Derby

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Canal Bridge, Nottingham Road. At this point the North Midland railway built a multi-arched bridge in 1839 to span the River Derwent, the Derby Canal and the Derby-Nottingham turnpike road. The canal bridge section is intact being a segmental arch stone bridge with stone voussoirs and brick vault, and an ashlar parapet with bold distinctive North Midland Railway half round string course and frieze below. There are few physical remains of the Derby Canal (opened in 1795) within the city. It became derelict in the 1940s and was formally abandoned in 1964. The once considerable remains of wharfs and dry docks in the Derwent and Exeter Streets area disappeared under the inner ring road scheme in the late 1960s. (1) Stone built railway viaduct, with original cast iron balustrade, built for what was the North Midland Railway line in the early 19th C. The surviving sections were part of the original seven span North Midland Railway viaduct of 1838-39 built to cross over the Derby to Nottingham turnpike road and the Derby canal adjacent. The original North Midland Railway viaduct carrying two tracks can be seen along the west side. The east side is still in situ but is almost wholly concealed by the abutting bridge on this side, added by the Midland Railway in 1892 to carry two additional tracks. The present day iron bridge spanning the Nottingham Road and its wrought iron plated balustrades are all a replacement dating from 1892. Beneath the bridge deck can be seen the 1838-39 abutments – with the additional abutments of 1892 adjacent on the east side. The dip in the road was original formed from 1904 to allow through the new double deck electric tram cars on this Nottingham Road route. This railway viaduct was designed in house by the NMR engineers, under the direction of Robert Stephenson, Chief Engineer. (2) The viaduct was assessed for listing in 2014, but the application was unsuccessful. The following description relates to both this monument and SMR 32199. A railway viaduct of irregular form, made up of six (originally seven) span masonry and metal spans, designed to cross the Nottingham turnpike and the Derby canal. Built in 1836-40 for the North Midland Railway to the designs of George and Robert Stephenson, with their Assistant Engineer Frederick Swanwick, and possibly aided by the architect Francis Thompson. It is built of coursed, squared, quarry-faced Derbyshire gritstone, with ashlar dressings, and red-brick soffit linings. The masonry supports iron and steel riveted plate girders. A cast-iron beam and pierced parapet survives on the west side of the second span from the south end. The west face of the viaduct comprises six spans. From the south end, the first span is a segmental masonry arch with stepped ashlar, v-jointed voussoirs springing from impost bands. The arch has been blocked with artificial stone. Above the masonry spandrels is a deep, ashlar band course below a bold, tooled roll moulding. Above this, a low ashlar parapet wall has a cyma reverse moulded coping. The arch is framed by V-jointed rusticated ashlar piers, topped by an ashlar pedestal. The terminating southern pier is given the simpler treatment of an ashlar band, a two-part dado and a simple ashlar coping. The north pier differs by having a fully-articulated cornice, and a coping matching that of the parapet. The stonework of the pier is recessed to form the abutment of the second span, where it returns under the bridge with coursed and squared quarry-faced stone. The second span has a deep, cast-iron beam aligned with the lower plane of the dado. It has a decorative horizontal moulding along its lower section. Above is a pierced, cast-iron balustrade consisting of vertical, round-ended moulded openings. The soffit of the span is a 20th century, steel trough deck. The north abutment and pier configuration matches that of the south side. The third span is identical to the first span and its arch remains open, with a red-brick soffit lining and an iron girder of the 1872-3 east extension behind. The pier between spans three and four is identical to the others. The fourth and fifth spans have been altered from their original form and now consist of a riveted steel-plate girder structure, with a corrugated steel parapet. One of the two intermediate masonry piers survives, the other having been removed to permit the widening of the roadway beneath. The north abutment and pier survive, as does the masonry arch of the sixth span, its associated piers and abutments. The east side of the viaduct has a continuous riveted steel-plate girder structure, supported on masonry piers and abutments dating to 1872-3. This later stonework abuts the quoins of the original viaduct structure, and is capped by an ashlar band on which the metal deck is supported. The north abutment stands alongside Nottingham Road, and is cranked outwards to meet a splayed masonry wall with a concave rake, which follows the alignment of the road. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2003. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part VII. City of Derby.. p 34.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Derby City Council. 2010. City of Derby Local List. p 46.
  • <3> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 2014. Advice Report: Nottingham Road Bridge. Case Number 1417534. Case Number 1417534.



Grid reference Centred SK 35913 36594 (27m by 46m)

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Record last edited

Aug 8 2017 11:45AM

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