Welland (or Harringworth or Seaton) Railway Viaduct, Northamptonshire, designed by John Underwood (see Labrum 213). Constructed 1876-1878 for the Kettering to Manton branch line of the Midland Railway Company, at 1166 m. (1275 yards) the longest viaduct in the whole of Britain "excluding those carrying the London suburban lines"("Harringworth Viaduct"; Labrun 213). Grade II listed, it is described in detail in its listing text: "Blue Staffordshire brick, part repaired in red brick, with red brick parapet. An impressive row of 82 tall semi-circular arches on piers, articulated at varying intervals by plain pilasters...." This source also points out that piers 60-82 are in Seaton parish, while the rest are in Harringworth parish, hence the different names by which it is known.

Like several other Victorian landmark viaducts, such as the Ribblehead Viaduct in Yorkshire, it makes an impressive sight. Colin Price writes that "the key feature of a viaduct" is "not its number of arches, but the fact that its main function is to cross a tract of lower-lying ground, not a river or canal or road or other railway. That's why there are so few road viaducts (Holborn being the most prominent example)."

Photograph taken by Gaenor Price, and kindly provided by Colin Price, with text by Price and Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or to the Victorian Web in a print document. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]


"Harringworth Viaduct." National Transport Trust. Web. 12 February 2021.

Labrum. E. A. Civil Engineering Heritage: Eastern and Central England. 1994. Institution of Civil Engineers/Thomas Telford Ltd., reprinted 1998.

"Welland Viaduct." Historic England. Web. 12 February 2021.

Created 10 February 2021