SEmG

Railway Structures
Ouse Viaduct


 
Ouse Viaduct
Ouse Viaduct, photographed on 2nd January 2010.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Ouse Viaduct was built in 1840, to the design of John Urpeth Rastrick, but with decoration by David Mocatta, the architect to the London & Brighton Railway. It is 492 yards long and carries the Brighton line over the Ouse valley north of Haywards Heath.

Ouse Viaduct
Ouse Viaduct.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

The viaduct has 37 arches, each with a span of 30 feet and a maximum height of 96 feet. It is constructed of red brick, but embellished with Caen stone balustrades and imposts. There is a brick string course over each arch. The Italianate pavilions at both ends are a unique feature.

Ouse Viaduct The pavilions at the north end of the viaduct. Those at the south end are the same.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
There is a refuge above each pier, constructed of stone and supported by decorative corbels.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Ouse Viaduct
 
Ouse Viaduct The extraordinary view through the relieving arches in the piers. The crowns are all at the same height, but the invert varies with ground level.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

It was quite often the case that major bridges and viaducts were the last part of a railway to be completed, sometimes with trains temporarily terminating either side. The opposite appears to have been the case with Ouse Viaduct, which was finished for the best part of a year before the line opened in July 1841.

Ouse Viaduct

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

The viaduct was extensively renovated between 1996 and 1999.


Lloyd Jefferson wrote a critical analysis of the viaduct in 2010, whilst he was at Bath University, and has kindly given permission for it to be published here.

All photographs are copyright

return to the Railway Structures menu

return to picture gallery page

This page was last updated 13 February 2019

SR Target

Valid CSS!    Valid HTML 4.01!