Railway Structures
Ilfracombe Tunnel

Ilfracombe Tunnel, also known as Slade Tunnel, is about half way up the 1 in 36 gradient from Ilfracombe to Mortehoe.
Ilfracombe Tunnel Ilfracombe Tunnel, south portals, photographed on 19th June 2011.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

The railway was opened as a single track in 1874 and was doubled between 1889 and 1891. The tunnel, therefore, has two single-track bores, which are 69 yards long and on a slight curve. The portals are built of local stone, but there is some brickwork and concrete lining to the tunnel bores. The arch rings at the portals comprise stone voussoirs, with prominent key stones.

Ilfracombe Tunnel, north portals.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Ilfracombe Tunnel

The line closed in 1970, though the track was not lifted until 1975. The up line tunnel is now used by the National Cycle Network, but the down line one has been walled off. Openings in the wall at the north end allow bats to roost in the tunnel.

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This page was created 27 June 2011

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