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Two Tunnels Shared Path

Twerton Red Bridge site in 2009

Twerton Viaduct, 1968

There are just a few structures that are common to both of these images. While the row of shops have been swept away, the steel industrial pitched roofs in the background survive. The road leading to the new Windsor Bridge on the right was put in place after the railway closed. The pipe visible on the viaduct carried water from the springs in Devonshire Tunnel down to the locomotive sheds at Green Park Station. The springs still run, though the water now emerges from the ground just north of Maple Grove Bridge.

The single track viaduct itself was an early casualty of improvements to the Lower Bristol Road. The steel spans were lifted at an early date, not entirely without incident as the crew 'Forgot' to remove a fastening holding a span to one of the uprights and found said span unexpectedly difficult to lift. One of the iron pillars supporting the structure was also problematic to demolish because of its proximity to a gas main there.

The 8 brick arches were demolished piecemeal over the next few years, before the site of some to the south of the road was covered by housing. In the photograph, these are out of sight beyond the pub. The said terraced housing exhibits a couple of subsidence cracks on external walls, and it's not unreasonable to suspect that this is down to the ground conditions - that is, the prescence of footings from the vanished viaduct providing rather better support than the undisturbed ground..

The apocryphal tale that the people working on the demolition of the arch next to the 'Royal Oak' ended up first in the Royal Oak itself, and then, returning to work, in hot water after a misjudged move brought down the far gable end of the pub roof, may not actually be apocryphal - the gable end does show evidence of a large repair.


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