A Victorian Viaduct

Balcombe, West Sussex - 4 March 2016
Ouse Valley Viaduct
4th March 2016

A previous attempt to view and photograph the renowned brick-built viaduct near Balcombe had been frustrated by road closures denying me access to the site. On this occasion I checked with Google Earth and my satnav that it was possible to approach the viaduct from the north and gain access. Although there were still closure notices to pass by, the actual full closure was just beyond the layby by the viaduct.

This monumental structure is clearly visible from Borde Hill Lane and, once you have parked your car (room for 4 cars), it is only a short stroll across a muddy field before you are standing under the enormous structure looking along its full length through the numerous piers. A short walk into the field past the viaduct gives a good view of the whole structure. I was there on a winter's afternoon and by then the sun was shining on the west side of the structure to pick out its detail.

Ouse Valley Viaduct

I returned to the underneath of the viaduct in order to take photographs of the piers in a diminishing perspective view. If you look carefully at the 2nd image you can see the furthest piers rising up with the valley side at the end of the viaduct. When I was there the only other person I saw was a fellow photographer learning how to use his brand new Canon 6D. The only other living being I saw was a buzzard or kite (I am no ornithologist and it could have been either) circling overhead.

Ouse Valley Viaduct Mono

I believe that the viaduct was built in about 1840 with the use of 11,000,000 bricks. It must have been quite an undertaking. The structure was renovated in the late 20th century and I believe that is why some of the bricks are of a different colour. It makes an interesting photographic subject that I may return to one day - perhaps at sunset.