Tag Archives: industrial archaeology

Victorian rural railway bridge in snow monochrome

Bridges for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Living in a landscape of rivers and old railways means we have lots of bridges in our area. Here are some of my favourite bridge pictures that I’ve previously featured on my blog – from Tyneside icons to forgotten relics – for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

Bridges in our woods

The old railway path and railway bridge in the woods where we often walk. I think in this misty shot it looks like something from a Victorian mystery story!
The old railway path and railway bridge in the woods where we often walk. This railway was a mineral line carrying coal from local mines. I think in this misty shot it looks like something from a Victorian mystery story!
Stone-built culvert in monochrome
This stone-built culvert was part of an old stream crossing in our woods.
Industrial inspirations - bridge to the old colliery yard
Industrial archaeology in the woodland undergrowth. Remnants of the bridge that carried laden coal tubs from the mine over the stream into the old colliery yard. Green mounds mark the brick bases of the bridge arch.

Bridges in our valley

The new Butterfly Bridge, River Derwent, Gateshead
The new Butterfly Bridge over the River Derwent in Gateshead. The old bridge was destroyed by the floods in 2008.
The Nine Arches viaduct that carried the Derwent Valley Railway. The C2C cycle route follows the Derwent Valley Railway Path through this part of Gateshead's countryside.
The Nine Arches viaduct carried the Derwent Valley Railway. This wonderful piece of Victorian engineering was built because the Earl of Strathmore would not allow the railway to pass over his land at Gibside.

Tyneside bridge icons

Newcastle Tyne Bridge, the High Level Bridge, the Swing Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, all crossing the River Tyne
Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge, the High Level Bridge, the Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge and the Swing Bridge, all crossing the River Tyne
Gateshead Millenium Bridge
The award-winning Gateshead Millenium Bridge – the newest bridge over the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead’s quaysides.

Do take a look at the bridges others have found for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

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J Peggy Taylor

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Shaft of sunlight lighting up the old waggonway between the dark conifer trees

Straight lines and contrasts – photo challenge time

When I saw the themes of two of this week’s photo challenges, it made me remember an interesting industrial archaeology project we worked on a couple of years ago. For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week we are seeking out “straight lines”. For the WordPress Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge we are considering “contrasts”. In the place we were exploring our industrial archaeology we noticed several combined instances of these concepts.

Our local area is full of industrial history as we live on part of the Durham Coalfield. Remnants of old mine shafts, iron workings and networks of old railway lines and waggonways are woven into this peaceful green and rural landscape. It must have been a very different environment a hundred years ago when coal mining here was at its height. The noise, the dust and the smoke have all gone completely. The collieries, old spoil heaps and railway tracks are now gradually assimilating into the landscape. Reclaimed by Mother Nature and grown over with woodland (some natural, some planted), unless you know their story, you don’t really notice them at all when you pass by.

Here’s my selection:

This straight track is part of the old railway line. This railway carried steam locomotives hauling their cargo of coals to the River Tyne. Now it is a peaceful footpath where we watch butterflies and pick blackberries as we look out across the wooded valley.
This straight track is part of the old railway line. This railway carried steam locomotives hauling their cargo of coals to the River Tyne. Now it is a peaceful footpath where we watch butterflies and pick blackberries as we look out across the wooded valley.
Sunlight searching through this steep-sided stream gully provided a stark dark/light contrast from our vantage point on the hillside between some tall, dark conifers.
Sunlight searching through this steep-sided stream gully provided a stark dark/light contrast from our vantage point on the hillside between some tall, dark conifers.
Blocks of moss-covered stone masonry built into the bankside are all that remain of this early 19th century coal mine shaft. The horizontals of the masonry contrast with the verticals of the conifers above.
Blocks of moss-covered stone masonry built into the bankside are all that remain of this early 19th century coal mine shaft. The horizontals of the masonry contrast with the verticals of the conifers above.
A wide, flat, straight pathway through a hillside conifer plantation. This pathway would have carried a wooden waggonway, with horses drawing the truckloads of coal from the mine along to the colliery yard.
A wide, flat, straight pathway through a hillside conifer plantation. This pathway would have been a wooden waggonway, with horses drawing the truckloads of coal from the mine along to the colliery yard.
A shaft of sunlight glances across a woodland floor. A century ago this used to be a noisy, busy colliery yard.
A shaft of sunlight glances across a woodland floor. A century ago this used to be a noisy, busy colliery yard.

Most of these photographs were taken by my son. He loves to seek out interesting patterns in the landscape.

J Peggy Taylor