POWDERMILL VIADUCT - May 2019

With construction beginning in July 1844 the viaduct consisting of 26 red brick arches spanning 270 yards was built across the Jackwood Spring Valley in Southborough.

Initially the viaduct was designed to carry a single railway line but at an advanced stage of construction in April 1845 the decision was taken to make a double-track railway. By this stage the viaduct had already been completed so an extension to the arches and piers had to be added to one side. However on the afternoon of 31st May 1845, during the widening works, six arches at the Tonbridge end of the viaduct collapsed even though they had been secured into place by keystones. The reason given for this was that the mortar had been mixed and used during heavy rain and didn’t set properly, hence the arches had to be rebuilt again. Finally on September 20th 1945 the viaduct was officially opened to the trains.

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