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Saturday, 21 November 2020

West Boat Bridge, N&CR

West Boat is a hamlet on the South Tyne a mile or so west of Hexham & few hundred yards west of the confluence of the North & South Tyne.   The Newcastle & Carlisle line crosses the South Tyne on a lattice girder bridge at West Boat.
Standing under the N&C bridge, looking east along the bankside
of the S Tyne, there is an embankment straight ahead
It's obviously a railway embankment, the same height as current, heading for the river
The S Tyne has footings in it, & large blocks of
dressed stone scattered around the bank side
Was this an earlier N&CR bridge alignment?
A c1900 OS map shows the crossing, & the railway east of two houses on the far side
A recent satellite view reveals a straightened alignment west
 of the same houses, plus trees showing the former alignment

Out of interest, does anyone know when & why the alignment was changed?

Using OS maps in conjunction with satellite views is quite easy & freely available on line at the National Library of Scotland.   OS mapping expanded across the UK from about 1850, so we can't use it to investigate, say, Causey around 1700.   But it is possible to look at the changes to railways, mining & other industry in NE England in the 1900s.   You may find it interesting to investigate the history of housing & roads in relation to industry in your own area.

1 comment:

Michael Denholm said...

This article focuses on the original Newcastle & Carlisle Railway alignment of 1836 which included an original Bridge known as Warden Bridge. It was constructed of timber and burnt down in 1848. It was replaced by a cast-iron structure on the original piers. The alignment was changed in 1903 (to the railway in use today) and the present bridge constructed. The former alignment and bases of the old bridge are still visible - as shown in the (very interesting) article.