Building record MDR16353 - North and south portals of Toadmoor Tunnel, New Bridge Road, Ambergate

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

A pair of Grade II listed tunnel portals, built 1836-40 for the North Midland Railway. This is an early example of a railway structure dating from the pioneering phase in national railway development as part of the North Midland Railway which was designed by George and Robert Stephenson, among the greatest and most influential of all railway engineers, with their assistant Frederick Swanwick. It is an example of the consistently high quality design and careful detailing of railway structures completed for the North Midland Railway, the aesthetic quality of which far exceeds the functional and structural requirements. As a pair of largely unaltered tunnel portals they are remarkably well preserved. The portals are situated in a cutting. The south portal has an elliptical arch consisting of alternately recessed and projecting ashlar voussoirs, which radiate out into the spandrels. Projecting on either side are raked piers formed of coursed and squared quarry-faced gritstone with punched quoins. The upper course of the piers steps forward to support a bold roll moulding running above the arch. Surmounting it is a low parapet of one large punched course which, together with the roll moulding, acts as a cornice to terminate the structure. The north portal has a semi-elliptical arch consisting of rusticated ashlar voussoirs and a projecting keystone. The arch is supported by slightly projecting imposts. The spandrels are of rusticated ashlar. Beneath the imposts are concave quarry-faced walls, which continue the ellipse. On either side of the arch are projecting rusticated ashlar piers and heavily recessed quarry-faced wing walls. Above the arch ring is a single ashlar course, truncating the voussoirs, and a moulded string course forming a cornice. Set back from this is a parapet formed of one large ashlar course, which continues round to surmount the wing walls. The tunnel lining is not included in the listing. See list description for further details. (1)

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. NHLE No. 1311167.



Grid reference Centred SK 3493 5146 (79m by 100m)

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Record last edited

Dec 21 2018 9:27AM

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