Review of primary source material at the National Archives (Kew): SCR Construction - Contract 4


The notes below were produced by Peter G. Davies during a series of visits to The National Archives (Kew, Richmond, Surrey) and were derived from a variety of original sources, including indentures and Minutes of the Northern Construction Committee.

The notes are reproduced here with the kind permission of Peter G. Davies and with full acknowledgement to The National Archives, Kew. The notes formatted in plain text summarise the available information. The notes formatted in italics are direct quotes from the original source material.


The total length of the contract is twenty three and a half miles commencing at the road from Newbiggin to Kirkby Thore to Petteril Bridge in the Parish of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.

The contractor was Eckersley and Bayliss and the value of the accepted contract was £329.905 – Seventeen shillings.

A bond was secured from Henry Hood of Pepper Hill, Northallerton and Caleb Wright of Tydesley.

The same contract terms apply to Contract No: 4 as they did for Contracts 1 and 2.

The rails were to be delivered to Appleby (London North Eastern Station) of the Eden Valley Railway and to Scotby (London North Eastern Station) on the Carlisle to Newcastle Railway.

Specification notes.
Total costing for Culgaith Tunnel £15,912
Total costing for Wastebank Tunnel £4.664
Total costing for Baron Wood Tunnels £4,857.10
Total costing for Armathwaite Tunnel £8,245

In the case of the Baron Wood Tunnels no air shafts were shown on the specification indicating that the gap between the two tunnels acts as an air shaft to allow steam to escape. The lengths of the tunnels may be altered according to the nature of the work executed.


1st November, 1870.

A scripture reader was appointed to Contract No:4 at a salary of £100 per annum. No indication is given of the name of the person appointed.

6th June, 1871.

The partnership between Mr. William Eckersley and Mr. Bayliss was dissolved. Mr. Eckersley was not exonerated from his liabilities in regard to the contract to the company.

5th December, 1871.

£1,800 was paid for timber as a loan for a twelve month period. Interest was to be charged from 8th January, 1872.

3rd December, 1872.

A landslip occurred at Eden Brows.

1st April, 1873.

£5,000 was paid to Mr. Bayliss at an interest rate of 5% per annum.

30th September, 1873.

A further £5,000 was paid to Mr. Bayliss as a retention of the contract with no interest payable.
It is interesting to note that on 5th December, 1872 a bonus of 15% was to be added to all prices on Contracts, 2, 3, and 4 to be paid by adding a percentage to the monthly payments after deducting loans now due to the company. This advance was to be made and accepted without prejudice to the legal obligations of the existing contractors. The bonus was duly accepted by all the contractors.


The original drawings for Armathwaite, Drybeck, and High Stand Gill viaducts are to be found at the National Archives. Some of the drawings are on cloth, others are on paper.

The same relates to the number of bridges which were constructed. Each bridge, viaduct and tunnel gives the mileage in miles and chains from both Settle Junction and Petteril Bridge Junction, Carlisle.

They are in a bound book which is very heavy to lift as I discovered on my visit.

Also contained in the book are the drawings for the tunnel at Lazonby which is 99 yards long and was built at the request of the local vicar who objected to the steam trains passing the vicarage.

Original Notes

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