SCRCA structure 237370: Bridge SAC/14 - Christie's Footbridge (PROW - footpath)

SCRCA Location Introduction

This structure is 'unique' along the route of the Settle & Carlisle Railway (S&CR) in terms of both its design and its provision.

It gets its name from Mr. Hector Christie (the owner of the 'gentleman's residence' known as Langcliffe Place and the adjacent mill complex) and it is the only example of a 'lattice girder' footbridge to have been installed during the initial construction works. (Bridge SAC/200 at Crosby Garrett was provided for a bridleway and the footbridges at Appleby, Kirkby Stephen and Settle stations are later additions.) As can be seen in the photos, the footpath could easily have crossed the line 'on the level' (a method that was considered perfectly adequate / acceptable elsewhere along the route). This begs the question "why did the Midland Railway Company (MRC) expend a considerable amount of time, effort and money constructing a footbridge at this particular location?" We have not yet found a definitive answer in the contemporary sources. However, the likely reasons include some or all of the following:

  • Hector Christie was an influential businessman and he may have insisted on uninterrupted access between Langcliffe village and his mills & house.
  • The railway immediately to the north of the footpath follows a relatively tight curve and the tracks are laid in the bottom of a cutting. This restricts the line of sight, obstructs the path of sound waves and significantly increases the likelihood of an accident involving footpath users.
  • This part of the Ribble valley suffers frequently from low-lying mist & fog (which deaden sound and further restrict visibility).
  • In the second half of the 19th century, the footpath would have been heavily used, especially at the start and end of mill shifts.
  • People rushing to get to work on time and then exhausted by long, hard shifts are likely to be inattentive (thereby further increasing the level of risk posed by a level crossing).
Christie's footbridge: South-west elevation view

Key details from the Location Record

Location Type
Bridge (Overline)
Location Variant
Span - Lattice-girder
Assessment status
Current Use(s)
Railway ops
Shown on a land plan?
Construction / installation period
2: MR construction phase (1869 to 31st Dec 1876)
Distance from London St.Pancras
237 miles and 36 chains
Position relative to running lines
This location IS visible from nearby publicly accessible land.
Accessibility (ease of access)
Protection Category
Conservation Area Only
Geographic Location
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Image Gallery

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Context views

Elevation views

Detail views


Associated Locations


Further Reading (Snippets)

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Errors and omissions
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