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Listed Building record MDR5725 - Sawley, Tamworth Road Railway Bridge

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 481322 Sawley, Tamworth Road Railway Bridge. A stone-built skew-arch bridge that carries the original Midland Counties railway line over Tamworth Road. It is thought to be contemporary with the construction of the line in 1839. (1) This railway bridge, constructed by the Midland Counties Railway in 1838, was found by the Nottingham and Sawley Turnpike Road Trust to be neither as wide nor as high as their Act required. In order to remedy the mistake, the Midland Counties had lowered the road beneath the bridge by 3 feet, leading to a danger of flooding. An agreement between the two was made in November 1838 that specified, among other things, that the Midland Counties would make a new opening on the east side of the original arch that would be 12ft wide and 14ft high, with a good gravelled way running through it and connecting it with the old turnpike road. Today, the main line of the road dips under a low arched stone bridge, with an additional small girder bridge to one side that looks like an afterthought but that has stone abutments which appear to be contemporary with the main bridge. Flooding still takes place beneath the main bridge. It is suggested that the Midland Counties may have deliberately built the bridge at a height that suited them, and that saved them money, and then did a deal with the Turnpike Trustees when they were found out. The additional opening at the side of the bridge is only 10ft high today, but the current girders may not be the original ones and it is possible that in 1839 the additonal opening was constructed in a very light manner (possibly in timber) to give the maximum possible clearnace, and had to be strengthened at a later date to withstand the increasing weight and speed of trains. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1986. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part II - Borough of Erewash. p 39.
  • <2> Article in serial: Mitchell, I. 2003. 'The Midland Counties railway bridge in Sawley', Derbyshire Miscellany. Vol. 16 (2), pp 57-60.



Grid reference Centred SK 481 322 (100m by 100m) Approximate

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Record last edited

Jan 26 2024 5:23PM

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