The Porthkerry Viaduct, partly in Rhoose, nr. Barry, South Wales. Engineer: Sir James Weeks Szlumper (1834-1926), a prominent public figure in Wales and later in Richmond, with William Szlumper (1860-1939, his half-brother) and Charles Szlumper (1872-1912, his son). Opened in 1897, but closed in 1898 because of subsidence and reopened in 1900. This Grade II listed viaduct is built of stone with brick dressings and brick arches above its tapering stone piers (see listing text). With its "stone parapet with corbelled buttresses" (also mentioned in the listing text), it is the most notable viaduct on the Vale of Glamorgan Railway. It has sixteen arches, rising to 110 feet high, and is 800 feet long. It originally carried coal to Barry Docks, but now carries passenger trains. The line runs at the edge of a plateau at about 200 feet above sea level. Glacial meltwater carved valleys whose depth seems out of proportion to the streams now occupying them.

A closer view of some of the central piers and arches.

The National Transport Trust describes the viaduct as "elegant," but recalls that it "presented severe problems during its construction."

Photographs 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.]


Charles David Szlumper. Grace's Guide. Web. 7 September 2021.

James Weeks Szlumper. Grace's Guide. Web. 7 September 2021.

"Porthkerry Railway Viaduct (partly in the community of Rhoose)." British Listed Buildings. Web. 7 September 2021.

"Porthkerry Viaduct, Rhoose." National Transport Trust. Web. 7 September 2021.

William Weeks Szlumper. Grace's Guide. Web. 7 September 2021.

Created 7 September 2021