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Coupland Beck Viaduct, Murton

Description: Coupland Beck Viaduct

Grade: II
Date Listed: 25 May 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1406102

OS Grid Reference: NY7051918660
OS Grid Coordinates: 370523, 518656
Latitude/Longitude: 54.5623, -2.4573

Locality: Murton
Local Authority: Eden District Council
County: Cumbria
Country: England
Postcode: CA16 6LH

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Listing Text


A railway viaduct designed by Sir Thomas Bouch in 1861; it has five arches and carried the former Eden Valley Railway across the Coupland Beck. The Eden Valley Railway closed to passenger traffic in 1962, but the section between Appleby and Warcop continued in use until 1995, providing a facility for the army training area at Warcop.

Reason for Listing

This disused railway viaduct of 1861 is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: it is a impressive structure in local stone with has strong aesthetic quality and design;
* Date: as a railway viaduct of 1861 it comes at the end of the period when designs tended to be high-quality and individual, as here, before the introduction more standardised forms;
* Historic Interest: designed by Sir Thomas Bouch, a distinguished civil engineer of national significance;
* Intactness: although disused, it survives largely as built


The Eden Valley branch of the North Eastern Railway ran from Kirkby Stephen northwards to join the London and North Western Railway at Clifton. Work began on the line in 1858 and it and opened to freight traffic on 8 April 1862 and to passenger traffic on Saturday 7 June of the same year. The purpose of the rail link was to provide a connection between the coal fields in the north east and the iron ore in West Cumbria, as well as providing a link between the towns and villages of the Eden valley. Coupland Viaduct was designed by Sir Thomas Bouch, and was constructed in 1861 by Lawton Brothers of Carlisle. The Eden Valley Railway closed to passenger traffic on 20 January 1962, but quarry trains continued from Hartley Quarry for a further 12 years. The section between Appleby and Warcop continued in use until 1995, providing a facility for the army training area at Warcop.

Sir Thomas Bouch (1822-1880) has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; he was a civil engineer who worked primarily on railways in Northern England and Scotland and whose lines demanded many bridges including the Beelah and Deepdale Viaducts; he also designed the Redheugh Viaduct, a road bridge at Newcastle. Bouch became famous when he developed roll-on/roll-off wagon ferries for the Edinburgh & Northern Railway to cross the River Forth & River Tay, and his remarkable design for the Forth Bridge (not built) and later the Tay Bridge earned him a knighthood from Queen Victoria in 1879. The same year his distinguished career was tarnished by the collapse of The Tay Bridge with the loss of seventy five lives.


MATERIALS: constructed of rock-faced red sandstone with dressed sandstone to the undersides of the arches; iron ties and railings.

DESCRIPTION: the viaduct carries a disused single-track railway over Coupland Beck between Appleby-in-Westmorland and Warcop, and comprises five semi-elliptical three-centered arches, each carried on tapered piers with circular and oval tie-ends. There are end piers and a low stone parapet with plain cast iron railings.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.