7 Man Made Wonders of Yorkshire – Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead boys (Gherkin, Wimsey, Wonky and Pickle)

Ribblehead is somewhat remote boasting only a railway station a few houses and The Station Inn. The teddybears may have a bit of a wait before they can start their picnic.
Located at the head of the River Ribble, the viaduct is firmly located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the hearts of many railway enthusiasts.

Ribblehead Viaduct and Weather

Ribblehead Viaduct Sunset
The Ribblehead Viaduct at sunset and behind it to the right Whernside one of the three peaks and the highest point in Yorkshire. It looks like it has been drizzling for a shortwhile but the puddles should dry up by September before it starts to rain.
A light dusting of snow can be expected in May and June but for real snow you need to visit in February or any month with an R in the name.

Ribblehead Viaduct Construction

  • The Ribbleshead Viaduct is a first class example of Victorian engineering and functional architecture.
  • The Viaduct is awe-inspiring with 24 arches spanning a distance of 1,320 feet and is 104 feet above the ground.
  • It was build between 1870-74, to carry the Settle to Carlisle railway.
  • One and half million bricks were used in the building of Ribbleshead together with some of the local limestone blocks that can each weighed eight tons.
  • The legs of the viaduct are 45 feet apart and the foundations extend down 25 feet.
  • Conditions for the workers or navvies were harsh with atrocious weather conditions and little or no health & safety – hundreds of men lost their lives during the construction.
  • Two thousand railway workers lived in nearby shanty towns when the viaduct was built.
  • There are navvies memorials along the line to commemorate the lives of those who died. Visit St Leonards’ Church, Chapel-le-Dale and St Mary’s Church Outhgill.

Settle-Carlisle Railway Crossing Ribblehead Viaduct

"City of Wells" 34092 crossing Ribblehead Viaduct
‘”City of Wells” 34092, one of Oliver Bulleid’s Light Pacifics, crossing Ribblehead Viaduct in May 1987.
This steam locomotive is currently being overhauled by Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Ingleborough Hill 723 m (2373 ft) high rises in the background.’

Ribblehead Viaduct
There are still steam train excursions over the Settle – Carlisle section of the railway. ‘The 72 mile route from Settle to Carlisle takes you on a journey through the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, over the 24 arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct before plunging in to the longest tunnel on the line at Blea Moor. Emerging onto the side of Dentdale, the line leaves the Dales at Garsdale and makes it way through the gentle, lush rolling hills of the Eden Valley, with rural villages and market towns before arriving at the great border city of Carlisle.’

Also See 7




Dry Stone Walls

Ruined Abbeys

All the posts on seven Wonders of Yorkshire

Ribblehead boys (Gherkin, Wimsey, Wonky and Pickle) by Missusdoubleyou CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Ribblehead Viaduct Sunset by tricky (rick harrison) CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“City of Wells” 34092 crossing Ribblehead Viaduct by pennyghael2 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Ribblehead Viaduct by Joe Dunckley CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
IMG_0754 by Ingy The Wingy CC BY-ND 2.0
“Ribblehead Viaduct by LivingOS CC BY-SA 2.0
Ribblehead Viaduct by Helen Olney CC BY 2.0

Ribblehead Viaduct
One of Yorkshire’s most distinctive landmarks and proud to be included in the Seven Man Made Wonders of |Yorkshire.

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