London: Rosebery Avenue Viaduct (20.5.2018)


We were walking from Farringdon Station (in Clerkenwell, Islington), to the nearby Postal Museum when we noticed this ornate bridge running over Warner Street. Later, upon our return journey, Gee noticed that there was a stairwell running up from Warner Street to the bridge level – which we explored. This led to Rosebery Avenue (completed in 1892) – a new road which was designed to be a more efficient link between Holborn and the Angel.  This is what the official history says about the design and function of Robebery Avenue Viaduct:

‘The viaduct consists of fourteen broad, shallow-arched brick vaults carried on cross-walls, with a central subway for pipes and cables, interrupted by the bridge over Warner Street. This gives two rows of spacious vaults, used for storage and garaging. The subway, which resumes beyond Warner Street and continues to St John Street, is ventilated by a series of gratings in the centre of the roadway. Although the viaduct subway was planned by the Metropolitan Board of Works, the Farringdon Road to St John Street extension, which called for special excavation and added £12,000 to the cost of the works, was only decided on in December 1890. 

The walls of the viaduct carrying Warner Street Bridge are faced in white perforated brick. The bridge itself is built of white-brick jack-arches on riveted compound girders, with decorative side panels and parapets of cast iron, made by Westwood, Baillie & Co. and bearing the date 1890.

Pedestrian access between Rosebery Avenue and Warner Street is provided by stone steps incorporated into the western end of Nos 20–26 Rosebery Avenue, built in the early 1890s. At the other end of the viaduct, between Rosebery Square and Nos 10–12 Rosebery Avenue, narrower steps built in 1890 lead down to Vine Hill (formerly Vine Street).’















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