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Larpool Viaduct, Whitby

High viaduct over the River Esk valley, built to carry the line from Scarborough towards Saltburn and Middlesbrough.

North Yorkshire
Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):
Off Larpool Lane, Whitby YO22 4NY
YO22 4NY
Visitor Centre:

About Larpool Viaduct, Whitby

Because of its location at the mouth of the steep and narrow Esk Valley, Whitby's first railway was along the river to Grosmont and Pickering, construction staring in 1835. A railway was eventually built northward along the coast towards Saltburn in 1883, branching off the old line just up river from Whitby Town station, then climbing steeply up to Whitby West cliff station. Two years later, a line from Scarborough approached from the south and joined the northward line at Prospect Hill Junction. A shuttle service was run between West Cliff and Whitby Town.

At the crossing of the river Esk in its deep valley it was necessary to build a long and high viaduct. 279 m (915 ft) long and 36 m (120 ft) above the river Esk, it is a dramatic sight, built in red brick. A Grade II Listed Building, it is now a cycle track, following the closure of the railway in 1965. Whitby has reverted to its 1835 connection.

By road: Off A171, via Larpool Lane then Riverside Walk. Best seen from the train in the Esk Valley.

Bairstow, Martin, Railways around Whitby, vol 1, Martin Bairstow, ISBN-10: 1871944341 (2008)

Bairstow, Martin, Railways around Whitby, vol 2, Martin Bairstow, ISBN-10: 1871944139 (1996)

Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S., The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J., The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)

Chapman, Stephen, Railway Memories No 18 - Cleveland and Whitby

Conolly, W. Philip, British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)

Hoole, K., The Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway, Hendon Publishing ISBN-10: 0860670651 (1981)

Hoole, K., Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Vol. 4 The North East, Hendon Publishing, ISBN 0 7153 4321 1 (1974)

Smith, Martin, British Railway Bridges and Viaducts, Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 2273 9 (1994) 

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR