Hertfordshire Genealogy

Guide to Old Hertfordshire


The Railway Viaduct





The Viaduct from Industrial Archaeology of Hertfordshire

Probably the outstanding landmark in Digswell is the railway viaduct. The Great Northern Railway employed a leading railway contractor) Thomas Brassey, to build the viaduct designed by William Cubitt, the railway's chief engineer, on the lines of a Roman aqueduct. Started in the late 1840s it took 2 years to build, which is quite a remarkable achievement considering it is approximately 1560 ft. long) 100 ft. high from road to railway track and has 40 arches, each with a 30 ft. span. All bricks were manufactured on site where the workmen lived. The first train crossed on 8th August 1850 and today regular traffic is carried from Kings Cross to Edinburgh.

When travelling over the viaduct passengers can look down on to Digswell Lake. Digswell Lake, a small area of woodland and ornamental parkland of about 17 acres, was once part of the grounds of a large house. The area was bought from The New Towns Commission in 1984 by Digswell Lake Society. The area is maintained regularly by members of the Society who believe the area is worth keeping, not only for its beauty but for the peace and quiet both to visitors and wildlife.

Welwyn Viaduct
published by E. Munnings, Hertford
postally used 1907


February 2012   Reformatted on new page