The Ribblehead Viaduct or Batty Moss Viaduct carries the Settle–Carlisle railway across Batty Moss in the Ribble Valley at Ribblehead, in North Yorkshire. The viaduct, built by the Midland Railway, is 28 miles north-west of Skipton and 26 miles south-east of Kendal. It is a Grade II* listed structure.
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About Ribblehead Viaduct
The viaduct was designed by John Sydney Crossley, chief engineer of the Midland Railway, who was responsible for the design and construction of all major structures along the line. The viaduct was necessitated by the challenging terrain of the route. Construction began in late 1869. A large workforce of up to 2,300 men built the structure. Most lived in shanty towns set up near the base. Over 100 men lost their lives during its construction. The Settle to Carlisle line was the last main railway in Britain to be constructed primarily with manual labour.
By the end of 1874, the last stone of the structure had been laid; on 1 May 1876, the Settle–Carlisle line was opened for passenger services. During the 1980s, British Rail proposed closing the line. In 1989, after lobbying by the public against closure, it was announced that the line would be retained. Since the 1980s, the viaduct has had multiple repairs and restorations and the lines relaid as a single track. The land underneath and around the viaduct is a scheduled ancient monument; the remains of the construction camp and navvy settlements (Batty Wife Hole, Sebastopol, and Belgravia) are located there.
Building the viaduct was the inspiration behind the ITV period drama series Jericho. The viaduct appears in the 1970 film No Blade of Grass and also in the 2012 film Sightseers. A number of other films and television programmes have also included the viaduct.
The viaduct is a key landmark for avid photographers, who flock to the site when steam trains are passing over, and for walkers, many of whom are tackling the infamous Three Peaks.
Walks Near Ribblehead
The following walks (featuring GPS route maps) all mention Ribblehead Viaduct along the way.
Ribblehead Viaduct on the Map
The map below shows the Ribblehead Viaduct location, set in the middle of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, close to the Yorkshire three peaks.