Red Hill Tunnel, Thrumpton

Photo:From the 'Nottingham and Derby Railway Companion' of 1838

From the 'Nottingham and Derby Railway Companion' of 1838

Note the two 'wings' flanking the main towers. Later pictures (see below) perhaps suggest that the wings were never built

Photo:An etching of red Hill tunnel from the 1850s

An etching of red Hill tunnel from the 1850s

Photo:The new Red Hill tunnel entrance of 1895 (left) beside its earlier 1830s counterpart

The new Red Hill tunnel entrance of 1895 (left) beside its earlier 1830s counterpart

Photographed early 20c from Trent lock

Valuable gypsum found during Victorian railway works

The Nottingham and Derby Railway Companion of 1838 describes Red Hill tunnel as follows

"The tunnel.... is situate immediately contiguous to the [railway] bridge over the Trent.

"It is 133 yards in length, and the opening is in the form of a horse-shoe; it measures 26 1/2 feet in diameter at the widest point, and 23 feet in diameter at the level of the rails.  From the rails to the roof it is 24 feet 7 inches.

"The north elevation of the tunnel [pictured].... is castellated in the Norman style of architecture (with embrazure and loop-holes, turrets &c.), in which are concealed rooms for the policeman or other overlookers* of this part of the Railway......

"The arch of the tunnel was first carried through the hill, and the side walls were under-pinned, or put in afterwards.

"The material excavated consists of very strong red marl and gypsum , nearly the whole of which was blasted with gunpowder, previous to its removal...."

* More commonly described as a 'lengthman' whose job was to inspect the tunnel for condition and obstacles etc.

The line of railway was increased to 4 tracks in 1895 and a second bore was dug through Red Hill. The north portal of this new tunnel again received castelations in keeping with the earlier one.

Why Castellated?

The design of the tunnel's north portal in castellated form was a concession to the owner of Thrumpton Hall, whose estate the railway passed through.

This page was added by Website Administrator on 27/02/2014.
Comments about this page

Such a shame it's so overgrown and neglected now most passengers through it not wouldn't even know the castled frontage is there.

By S Tait
On 22/09/2016

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