The ‘Iron Giant’ of Erewash Valley is a treasure which until recently was abandoned and closed to the public – but thanks to the efforts of The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct it was reopened as a foot and cycle path in 2022. FMB Radio’s Ben Mellor made a visit.
There are not many structures in the world which leave you with a sense of awe at its beauty and history… yet, the Bennerley Viaduct manages to tick these boxes. It’s incredible to think this former railway bridge was built in the 1870s – a time when there was barely any usage of electricity.
Admittedly, the Iron Giant is mainly worth a visit during the summer months, when you can properly appreciate the views of Erewash Valley it provides. As you can probably tell from the feature image… the weather took a turn by the time we arrived.
The bridge was designed by Samuel Abbott, a Nottinghamshire-born engineer and an employee of Great Northern Railway, who funded the construction. It was used as a railway bridge until closing in 1968 as a result of the Beeching Cuts… an infamous event for any rail history buff.
The wrought-iron behemoth as previously mentioned, is now accessible to walkers and cyclists, providing a good vantage point, as well as easy access to the Erewash Canal to continue a walk.
This is an attraction worth a visit for its history… though maybe go when the weather is a bit warmer! Parking can be a little scarce… but there are plans in the future for a visitor centre, cafe, and car park. We’ll definitely revisit when these open.
Overall, it makes for a pleasant walk, with a fantastic view.
Featured image courtesy of Ben Mellor. Image has been cropped vertically.
In-article image courtesy of Ben Mellor. No changes have been made to this image.
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