Crimple Low Viaduct

Harrogate's first two railways arrived in 1848. The York & North Midland extended its line from Spofforth into Brunswick whilst the Leeds & Thirsk approached from the south, establishing a station at Starbeck. The two crossed towards the southern end of Crimple's gargantuan viaduct and just north of Prospect Tunnel. The Y&NM route unquestionably boasted grander engineering feats.

But the Leeds & Thirsk was not devoid of structures. Half-a-mile north of its attention-grabbing relative, Crimple Beck was spanned by another viaduct - this one comprising ten arches and opening on 9th July 1848. Having a very substantial feel, it was masonry-built and almost 200 yards long.

The condition of the viaduct prompted the installation of tie bars and pattress plates, and was eventually instrumental in the route's demise. In 1951, the structure was deemed to have deteriorated beyond economic repair and the line over it closed on 26th June. Crimple Low was sold to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society on 21st September 1959, owners of the Yorkshire Showground within which it stands.

Anyone visiting it today could not fail to be impressed by its presence but the viaduct is not in the best of health, with several cracks apparent in the north-end abutment.

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