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The 1838 section of railway bridge into Curzon Street Station over Digbeth Branch Canal

A Grade II Listed Building in Nechells, Birmingham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4818 / 52°28'54"N

Longitude: -1.8819 / 1°52'54"W

OS Eastings: 408119

OS Northings: 287100

OS Grid: SP081871

Mapcode National: GBR 648.D7

Mapcode Global: VH9YX.BWHB

Entry Name: The 1838 section of railway bridge into Curzon Street Station over Digbeth Branch Canal

Listing Date: 8 July 1982

Last Amended: 3 July 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1075609

English Heritage Legacy ID: 217017

Location: Birmingham, B9

County: Birmingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Nechells

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Birmingham St Martin-in-the-Bull-Ring

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

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Summary

A railway bridge of 1837-8 designed by Joseph Locke to take the Grand Junction Railway into Curzon Street Terminus Station.

Description

A railway bridge of 1837-8 designed by Joseph Locke to take the Grand Junction Railway into Curzon Street Terminus Station.

MATERIALS: red brick with sandstone dressings.

PLAN: the bridge has a single span over the canal, with curved wing walls to either side. The tow path is set to the east. The 1837-8 part of the bridge now carries a roadway.

The north face of the bridge is fronted in ashlar to its centre, with brick wing walls to either side, which have stone dressings. The stonework has banded and chamfered rustication. The broad arch is segmental and flanked by pilasters. An impost block projects slightly, and above it the voussoirs of the arch have chamfered edges and are stepped in groups of three. Above the arch is a dentilled cornice and the parapet is plain. Parts of the wing walls have been rebuilt – that to the left in blue engineering brick.
The southern face of the 1837-8 bridge is abutted by the later-C19 extension, but the lower part of its arch can be seen underneath the bridge and this has chamfered voussoirs, as on the north face.
The intrados of the vault is of red brick, which is slightly skewed and the impost block continues as a deep band at the level of the springing of the arch.

Pursuant to s. 1 (5) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the later-C19 bridge to the south of the 1838 bridge, which abuts its southern flank wall, is not of special architectural or historic interest.

History

The Grand Junction Railway connected Birmingham with Liverpool. A temporary Birmingham station was opened in 1837 at Vauxhall, and the Curzon Street Station was opened in the following year after the completion of the present bridge over the Grand Junction Canal and a viaduct over three roads. The bridge was extended on its southern side in 1893 by the addition of a further bridge over the canal to connect to the New Street Station, and this extension has partially masked the south front of the 1837-8 bridge.

Reasons for Listing

The 1838 Section of the Railway Bridge into Curzon Street Station over Digbeth Branch Canal is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: the bridge is a good example of Neo-Classical transport architecture of the early-C19;
* Degree of survival: although parts of the wing walls on the north front have been rebuilt, and a later-C19 railway bridge abuts the structure of the 1838 fabric to its south, the essential form and construction of the original rail bridge over the canal survives;
* Historic interest: as a good example of a structure which dates from the earliest period of railway architecture in England.

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