The Larpool or Esk Valley Viaduct, Whitby, designed by C. A. Rowlandson (1836-1932) for the engineering firm of Douglas Fox and Partners, built 1882-84, and opened in 1885 for the Scarborough-Whitby, then Middlesbrough, railway. It crosses the Esk Valley just outside Whitby, and according to the National Transport Trust "is 279 m (915 ft) long and 36 m (120 ft) above the river Esk ... a dramatic sight." It is brick built. Although it is Grade II listed, English Heritage gives few extra details, except that it is "of considerable height with tapering piers crossing the River Esk. 13 arches. Mentioned incidentally in Dracula by Bram Stoker."

The reference to Dracula is useful. In the novel, when Mina Murray goes to Whitby, she writes in her journal (24 July):

This is a lovely place. The little river, the Esk, runs through a deep valley, which broadens out as it comes near the harbour. A great viaduct runs across, with high piers, through which the view seems somehow further away than it really is. The valley is beautifully green, and it is so steep that when you are on the high land on either side you look right across it, unless you are near enough to see down.... [53]

Considered an "important viaduct" in the earlier twentieth century (see Rowlandson's obituary, reproduced in his Grace's Guide entry), the Larpool Viaduct was closed in 1965. These days, it carries a cycle path and walking trail.

Photographs by Bronwen Conaghan, edited by Colin Price, with text by Price and Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the images 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 images to enlarge them.]


"About Larpool Viaduct, Whitby." National Transport Trust. Web. 18 August 2021.

"Larpool Viaduct." Grace's Guide. Web. 18 August 2021.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Ware, Herts: Wordsworth Classics, 2000.

"Viaduct at Larpool." Historic England. Web. 18 August 2021.

Created 18 August 2021