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Listed Building record MDR23576 - Railway Cutting Walls from North of Long Row to Field Bridge Lane, and North of King Street to New Road Bridge, Belper

Type and Period (2)

  • (Victorian to 21st Century - 1837 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • (Victorian to 21st Century - 1837 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Railway cutting walls from north of Long Row to Field Bridge Lane, and north of King Street to New Road Bridge, Belper, built between 1837-1840. From the National Heritage List for England: 'The masonry walls lining the railway cutting passing through the town of Belper in Derbyshire, and a series of associated road bridges spanning the cutting, all form part of the development of the North Midland Railway between 1837 and 1840. Reasons for Designation The masonry walling lining of the railway cutting passing through Belper, built for the North Midland Railway between 1837 and 1840, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest:the cutting forms part of a series of railway structures designed by George Stephenson, one of the most important and influential engineers of the railway era, aided by Frederick Swanwick, and considered to be amongst the best- preserved examples of the pioneering phase of railway development in England; * Architectural interest: the cutting walls are an example of the consistently high quality design of railway structures completed for the North Midland Railway design; * Group value: the walls form part of an integrated design for the Belper cutting of retaining walls and associated road bridges, which are elements of a railway transport landscape of exceptional quality. History The railway cutting walls in Belper were built as part of the extension of the North Midland Railway line from Derby to Chesterfield, which opened in 1840. The line cut through the town of Belper, where the industrialist Jedediah Strutt had developed one of the pioneering late C18 textile manufacturing communities of the Derwent valley at the northern end of the original settlement. The new railway line was carried in a deep, mile long cutting through Belper, necessitating the construction of masonry walls to the cutting, and the provision of eleven new bridges, including those where the line passed through pre-existing streets of terraced housing built by the Strutt family for mill workers. The new railway line was surveyed and engineered by George Stephenson, one of the pre-eminent engineers of the C19, and the railway company’s resident engineer, Frederick Swanwick. The line was constructed between 1837 and 1840, passing through challenging terrain, necessitating the construction of tunnels, bridges and viaducts of varying design. The line required a series of new stations which were designed by the North Midland Railway Company’s architect, Francis Thompson of Derby. Thompson was appointed architect to the North Midland Railway in February 1839, having returned from working in Canada. He designed the new station at Derby for the three railway companies which were later amalgamated to form the Midland Railway: the Midland Counties Railway, the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway and the North Midland Railway. He also designed stations on the line to the north of Derby, of which only the station at Wingfield survives. The Belper cutting and its bridges were the subject of one of the illustrations of the completed North Midland Railway line by the lithographic artist Samuel Russell, commissioned by the railway company's architect Francis Thompson. Details Masonry retaining walls lining a railway cutting, constructed for the North Midlands Railway Company between1837-1840, with late-C20 minor alterations. ARCHITECT: an indenture of the 5th of December 1837 refers to ' specification and drawings or plan which have been prepared by, or under the direction of supervision of George Stephenson and Frederick Swanwick, the principal and resident engineers appointed by the said Company' ( the North Midland Railway Company). MATERIALS: ashlar and regularly- coursed squared rock-faced Derbyshire gritstone. PLAN: the cutting walls are of concave section and linear in form. They were constructed in two parts, the northern part extending from approximately 55 yards to the north of the Long Row bridge to Field Lane, and the southern part extending from 45 yards north of King Street to the bridge carrying New Road. DESCRIPTION: the cutting walls are of uniform curvature throughout their length, and rise from two deep projecting stone plinth courses. At regular intervals there are broad projecting pilasters which rise up to a deep roll moulding carried through from the adjacent walling and bridges, which would appear to form a single design concept. Above the moulding, are parapet walls formed of five courses of channelled masonry blocks. The walls are capped with deep saddleback stone copings, which, like the roll moulding, are carried through onto the bridges which span the cutting.' (1)

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference SK 34787 47610 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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Record last edited

Sep 30 2023 8:47PM

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