Ribblehead Viaduct: PT.I/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, structures

An Ode to ‘Batty Moss’.

We ended up here by a kind of accident, really. So far off the beaten track and so far from home, you’d be excused for questioning such a statement. But I’d listed a camera outfit on a popular sales app and ended up meeting the buyer (Hi, George – if you’re reading!) down the road in Cumbria. We simply decided to make a day of it and take the RF for a bit more of a spin. A glorious, hot day, stunning views – roof down; it was as perfect a day for a run as any I can ever remember.


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Ribblehead, or Batty Moss Viaduct at Ribblehead in North Yorkshire is, as you might imagine, strewn with history – both good and bad. Work commenced on the foundations in 1870 and through re-design issues and financial problems, the final key-stone wasn’t placed until the end of 1874. It was opened as a single-track line in 1876 and despite many attempts to close the line as early as the 1980s, it remains open today as a result of increasing passenger numbers on the Settle to Carlisle line and, huge petitions to save it. During the construction of the viaduct, some one-hundred or so of the two-thousand (plus) workforce died either as a result of construction related injuries, fights or – smallpox. The land around the viaduct itself is now a scheduled ancient monument as the remains of the three settlements and construction camps (Batty Wife Hole, Sebastapol and Belgravia) are situated here. Its architect was the renowned John Sydney Crossley who died some three years after the line opened to the public.


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During our visit to the viaduct, I did my best to compose to exclude the scores of cars and smoking BBQs below many of the twenty-four arches and humming drones above them; this place is an absolute magnet when the sun’s out! As with most things in life though, patience is a virtue and occasionally I was able to get clear views of this magnificent structure. An absolute treat.


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I hope you’ll have enjoyed these first few frames and I wish you all a fabulous week.

– Memento Vivere! – 
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

8 thoughts on “Ribblehead Viaduct: PT.I/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

  1. Interesting to see such an old structure being used for public transportation. I really like the sense of size we get from the third image, Rob. When I look at something like this I think of the labor that went into placing each of those stones as the structure rose above the ground. You did a great job composing out the crowd and BBQ spots. I wouldn’t have guessed it was so busy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a portrait shooter (it was a passion for a good few years) it surprises me, Steve, that most of my work includes no people at all. I have come to love places and iconic signs of human creations, endurance, ingenuity, longevity – and this place deserves to be captured unfettered by what I would probably see in a frame as ‘clutter’. It did take a little while to find the best angles for exclusion but it afforded me a good hour or so take it all in and explore it before wandering around for a second ‘pass’, so to speak. There were other angles I’d love to have captured, possibly more dramatic but, it’ll require another visit on a less than scorching day for there to be far fewer people at the bases of the many arches. I am glad to have what I have of it though. You mention frame 3, this one was a slight afterthought just before we thought to head off again, but in frame 1 – I kicked myself for not timing it quite right and missed the passenger train being almost perfectly central by about 2 seconds / 5 feet. And the person standing below the third arch from the right was bonus for perspective on the sheer enormity of this structure. Thank you, my friend, for your thoughtful comments – always a pleasure to read and, think about. Have a great weekend! Very best, R.


    1. Alessandra, thank you so much! It took a while to get the desired frames but even so, it was, I think – well worth the loooong round-trip! Great to hear from you, A. Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead. Best, R.


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