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First post here, hello from Sussex! ... here are some pictures of a massive viaduct!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by CoptainCack, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. CoptainCack

    CoptainCack 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Dec 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hi there, been a member here a while but I don't think i've ever posted. Urban exploration is not something I have done a lot of though I have spent many any hours viewing the wealth of excellent stuff on you tube, as well as following some amazing threads on here.

    So this is not a hugely challenging bit of urbex, not a forgotten or lost relic, but something I have passed by many many times over the years and have never once failed to admire it or think that someday I really must go and have a closer look. So that's what I eventually did.

    The Ouse Valley Viaduct just south of the village of Balcombe in West Sussex.


    That's less than half of it! In total its span is 450 metres across the Ouse Valley. It was designed by John Urpeth Rastrick and completed in July 1841. Rastrick was (I think) the chief engineer / architect of the Southern Railways at the time of its construction and also designed a sister viaduct to this approaching Brighton Station, styled identically though running on a curve, as well as Brighton station itself amongst other things.


    The viaduct is constructed of 11 million bricks as well as a beautifully ornate limestone ballustrading with towers at either end. Overall condition appears very good considering its 170 year age though it has clearly undergone a number of restorations during its time (most recently 1996-1999) and has an interesting patchwork of original brick with repairs of differing colours and vintages.

    The limestone has many large chunks missing from the overhanging sides at the top of the brickwork though no obvious debris exists underneath and being on the main London / Brighton line it surely has regular and scrupulous maintenance checks.

    View from underneath, not the highest arch but not far off. Massively imposing!
    It really is a beautiful thing.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    My best 'Indiana Jones' look!

    Access is simple from the Haywards Heath to Balcombe Road. Park in the small layby next to the house (the only house) and walk back along the road 50 yards over the hump back bridge and to the gate on the viaduct side of the road. Hop over and walk along the side of the corn crop towards the oak tree in front of you and past it until you reach the end of the corn. Walk 10 yards left and uphill and you will come to a low fence that you can literally step over and you are under the viaduct.
    So, there it is. Not challenging to get to, not disused or abandoned ... but magnificent and worth a drive.

    I didn't walk up to the end gate though there appeared steps up to the top. I had no plan to get up on top in daylight hours since I suspect the police would be on you very quickly. This is the main line and trains run over it every few minutes, more frequently at peak times. When the trains aren't running though .....

    Final thought. This is my first post and sadly research leads me to believe that most of the grander urbex missions are not really in Sussex where I am based. If, however, any Sussex based explorers are up for some company or want to organize anything, I would love to hear from you. The only other thing I did was Lywood tunnel in Ardingly.

    Again, very easy to find and get down to. These victorians didn't half build things BIG! standing in the mouth of that you feel pretty small!

    Cheers for reading .. enjoy!
    #1 CoptainCack, Oct 8, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
    Reubaaan likes this.

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