Crossing the River
River Eamont (Part 7)
As we have seen so far, the River Eamont, the only outflow of Ullswater, is a powerful river. It runs fast and deep and often wide. So, over the centuries man has had to negotiate it in order to travel on a north south route through the western side of the country. In the next half mile of so of our river there will be three such crossings, spanning several hundred years.
Here is the first – Eamont Viaduct. This was built between 1844 and 1846 to take the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, which would eventually become part of the West Coast Main Line. This section of the line was opened in June 1846. The Viaduct has five arches of 50ft span each and it is 70ft high. It must have taken some building, as this section is heavily wooded and sloped. Perhaps not as impressive as some viaducts in the area, it certainly has a charm of its own. The setting is rather special and it of course shows the wonderful stonework, typical of the viaducts built at this time.
To get to this spot we only had to walk a few yards from the last place where the pele tower could be seen. In this picture you can see the river running quite high and of course evidence that the viaduct is still in use as the West Coast Main line connects London and the Midlands with Glasgow and Edinburgh. Anyone travelling north on this railway would reach this spot just before the train arrives at Penrith Station.
An extra picture shows Gordon dealing with one of the hazards of this walk! And anyone who knew him from old would not be at all surprised to learn that, after he had spoken to them, they did exactly as they had been told and moved off to the far end of the field!