Ribblehead Viaduct, Ingleton

#3 of 10 in Things to do in Ingleton

The Ribblehead Viaduct or Batty Moss Viaduct carries the Settle–Carlisle railway across Batty Moss in the Ribble Valley at Ribblehead, in North Yorkshire, England. The viaduct, built by the Midland Railway, is 28 miles (45 km) north-west of Skipton and 26 miles (42 km) south-east of Kendal. It is a Grade II* listed structure. Ribblehead Viaduct is the longest and the third tallest structure on the Settle–Carlisle line.

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. It necessitated a large workforce, up to 2,300 men, most of whom lived in shanty towns set up near its 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.
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Ribblehead Viaduct Reviews
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626 reviews
  • Built as part of the Settle Carlisle railway this is one of its engineering feats. You can get there by infrequent train...or drive There's a path beside station pub to the viaduct. Take a big coat...  more »
  • Saw this, never knew about this, lots of vars parked looking at this you can walk to this, boots needed.  more »
  • Best viaduct I’ve had the pleasure of being nearby to. Digger you can sit on is a great addition. Sheep not as welcoming as would ideally like. However don’t want to generalise - some were keen. It rained every time we went. But then we went back anyway and it still rained but it was good for misty vibes. Recommend hat and coat if raining. Essential visit for viaduct enthusiasts. A magnificent feat of Victorian engineering cannot begin to describe the intensity of feeling we experienced. Saw four dogs.
  • Incredible structure that simply dwarfs you as you approach it. Very rough path from the main road so take care, but it's well worth the trip. You'll need a wide angle lens to get the best view.
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