12 August 2008
The Houndsgill Viaduct (Gill Bridge)
The Hownsgill Viaduct (The Gill Bridge) was constructed in 1857 and spans 700ft across a ravine, it is made up of almost 3 million white fire bricks and stands 175ft tall weighing approximately 12,0000 tonnes. It has 12 arches each with a 50ft span and at a total cost of £12,500 to build. It was Thomas Bouch an engineer who was given the tender and later knighted by Queen Victoria during his career but later ended his life in disgrace after the collapse of his greatest achievement The Tay Bridge. Before the viaduct was built the rail journey had been interrupted by this ravine and freight had to be taken across it on wagons which were lowered and raised by means of a stationary steam haulage engine.Now, part of the Derwent walk it is still used by cyclists and walkers crossing the ravine and unfortunately now more notably a place where people in despair take their lives, Most recent that of a mother and her child. Because of the suicide activity at this bridge, it has gained a reputation with those down on their luck and, used as a term for feeling low, out of luck and as an insult, a place to go and jump.