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Railway viaduct

Railway viaduct




LB WalthamForest

Date or period


Current Designation


Architectural Merit


Group Value

Group value with Lea Bridge Station and the former Greyhound Public House.

The Lea Valley line was originally developed as a main line from London to Cambridge and a precursor of the East Coast main line.

The road viaduct, which is attributed to a design of Robert Stephenson (son of George Stephenson) has surprising slender and elegant arches (now infilled).

The viaduct parapet was intended to be of a high wall design to protect horses, vehicles and occupants from the railway, but these have since been remodelled.

The bridge was described in 1840 as one of great length, consisting of 'seventeen arches on each side' of the line of railway and of 'very neat design'.

Robert Stephenson, with George Bidder, designed a trussed compound girder bridge of 60 feet span carrying the northern and eastern railway over the River Lea at Tottenham, slightly to the north of Lea Bridge. This was the first trussed compound girder bridge, a design which was later discovered to be flawed after the Dee railway bridge collapse in 1847.

The bridge is an important reminder of the construction of one of the earliest wide gauge inter-urban railways serving London and signals the extent of efforts to accommodate the powerful requirements of the Turnpike Road which the line bisects.

The arches were used as stables and also as a second world war bomb shelter. A horse ramp remains attached to the north east corner of the viaduct.


The western approach ramp remains intact, including coping stones.The eastern approach ramp has been largely demolished. The central spans have been replaced. The remaining ramp is in a poor condition with some coping stones displaced. the horse-ramp remains attached in the north east corner, between the remainder of the ramp and a factory building.



Robert Stephenson: The Eminent EngineerBy Michael Reeves Bailey

leabridge.org.uk December 2012