11 January 2006

St Levan Road Bridge(s)

We start off with this large bridge which carries the main railway line through Plymouth and across the St Leven Valley. Behind me as I stand to take this photo is the St Levens Gate entrance to the Dockyard. A close up view showing the construction detail of the bridge is below:

Its certainly an unusual construction design. I am not sure why the central pillar has the middle oval bricked in when all the other pillars have the original oval left. I am still trying to find out some of the history of this bridge so may well come back to it at a later date.
It was not always the only railway bridge over the St Leven valley though. The next picture taken in 1981 from Cyberheritage shows the old stone viaduct which was always the better looking, more graceful bridge.

Very little of this remains now although you can still see clues either side of the Valley that a railway once existed. The main remnant is the stone base of one of the pillars with this plate which was added when the bridge was demolished in 1987. A sad end to a once proud bridge and a major transport landmark in Plymouth.

The Plymouth Data site has a bit more detail on some of the railway history of this are included on this page which makes interesting reading. Some time soon I will come back to this area and start looking in more detail at the old railway that has been lost.

1 comment:

  1. The St Levans Road viaduct originally had pine wooden fan like structures on the stone pillars supporting the track on wood above. The stone pillars were later added to ( the bricks you can see) to replace the wooden structures and bring it up to the correct height and then the steel added supporting the track today


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