Merrygill Viaduct spans the narrow valley of Hartley Beck which flows sharply down the western slopes of Birkett Hill and through the village whose name the beck bears. Built of local limestone, Merrygill Viaduct has nine arches each of 30 feet span, with a total length 366 feet, and a height above the beck of 78 feet. Like Podgill, it was originally built to carry only a single track, also being constructed by Chambers & Hilton for a price of £3,721. Merrygill was widened to carry double track as part of the same contract for Podgill, completed about 1892.
Merrygill is the lowest of the three viaducts owned by the Trust.
After the railway closed it was sold by British Rail to the owners of the adjacent Hartley limestone quarry and limeworks (then RMC) from whom it was acquired by the Northern Viaduct Trust in 2005 – for a token payment of £1. Restoration of this section and its opening to walkers and other users was completed in 2005 at a total cost of £50,000.
Merrygill Viaduct is Grade II listed.
Please see our ‘Walks’ section for further suggested walks and a map.
You can access the walk to both Podgill and Merrygill Viaducts from the Stenkrith Park car park in Kirkby Stephen. On the south side of Kirkby Stephen on A685: just after the railway bridge, if travelling north, turn right; and just before the railway bridge, if travelling south, turn left. At the end of this road, Station Road, turn right and the car park is just over the bridge on your right. The nearest post code to Stenkrith Park is CA17 4SZ.
An alternate route to Merrygill viaduct and the trackbed walk to Podgill Viaduct is on foot from the centre of Kirkby Stephen.
There is plenty of free parking in the Kirkby Stephen public car park.
From the car park walk to Kirkby Stephen Market Square. Walk through the square following signs to Frank’s Bridge; cross over the river and take the path to Hartley Road; turn right and then right at the T Junction; follow the lane until the entrance to the quarry and there is the footpath entrance to the viaduct walk. See Walks page.