Pedalling along the A171 I was surprised to see this eight arch viaduct. Normally in the Summer it is hidden by the canopy of the woodland that towers above it but it looks as through some thinning has taken place. The trees that had taken root on the top and had been threatening the structure have been removed and apparently just dumped over the side which is a shame, perhaps done to impede the off road motor cyclists. The viaduct is well used by groups for an abseiling experience.
The viaduct was built in 1861 for the Cleveland Railway whose principal shareholders were Sir Lowthian Bell and Ralph Ward Jackson. Its sole purpose was to transport their iron ore from the Guisborough and East Cleveland mines to the foundries on the River Tees. Sixty feet high, it is a fine example of early railway architecture. Later in the 19th century greater standardisation of and appropriate quality in construction materials techniques became commonplace. For these reasons the viaduct has been scheduled a Grade II listed building status.
In 1865 the Cleveland Railway became part of the North Eastern Railway, Guisborough and Saltburn Branch and began to run passenger trains to Brotton and Loftus finally closing in 1964. The viaduct spans Spa Gill down which flows Jocks Row Beck. On the right in the photo Jocks Row Beck can be seen entering an unusually shaped culvert to enable the slope of the embankment to be maintained.