The Headstone Viaduct.


The Headstone Viaduct , built by the Midland Railway in 1863. The viaduct elegantly spans the River Wye and was a part of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway. John Ruskin famously wrote critically of it 1871, saying :

“There was a rocky valley between Buxton and Bakewell, once upon a time, divine as the vale of Tempe; you might have seen the Gods there morning and evening, — Apollo and all the sweet Muses of the Light — walking in fair procession on the lawns of it, and to and fro among the pinnacles of its crags. You cared neither for Gods nor grass, but for cash (which you did not know the way to get); you thought you could get it by what the Times calls “Railroad Enterprise.” You Enterprised a Railroad through the valley — you blasted its rocks away, heaped thousands of tons of shale into its lovely stream. The valley is gone, and the gods with it; and now, every fool in Buxton can be at Bakewell in half-an-hour, and every fool in Bakewell at Buxton; which you think a lucrative process of exchange — you Fools Everywhere.”

Fors Clavigera, letter v (1 May 1871).

Nowadays it sits elegantly in the landscape, spanning the River Wye , and carrying walkers and cyclists alike along the 8.5 miles of the Monsal Trail.


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