There was a brief gap in the weather this afternoon and where better to spend it than down by the New Main Line taking a good look at those graceful iron bridges built by the Horsley Iron Works of Tipton?
I am very familiar with these structures but I mostly see them in the summer when the views are often obscured by foliage. Here are a selection of my favourites from today:
This location offers two Horsley bridges, with the older and more ornate spanning the Old Main Line at the foot of Spon Lane Locks and the other, newer and more functional one spanning the New Main Line.
This is truly one of the wonders of the BCN, still spanning the Galton Valley with its lattice of iron girders still carrying a roadway and and stunning as the day it was built. The only problem is getting photos which do it justice. The addition of the railway bridge to the north and the tunnel to the south undermine the view. I love the embellishments built into the design which go far beyond functional and make it an object of beauty.
Engine Arm Aqueduct
And if one is impressed with Galton Bridge the Engine Arm Aqueduct will blow you away. Its not the longest or tallest aqueduct but it is probably the most ornate iron version. Whereas a simple iron trough would have functioned perfectly well, the builders went to town with the gothic detailing which sets this structure head and shoulders above the rest.
Happy 2018 and roll on those long summer days when we can return to these iconic structures from the comfort of our narrowboats.