View Full Version : "Boardwalk", Tanfield, County Durham. REPORT 09/03/2008

03-04-2009, 03:50 PM
"Boardwalk" is so named because it goes from a fairly standard 'flagstone and ankle breaking boulder' floor to a lovely wooden .... boardwalk? construction about half way through, using big railway-sleeper type slabs of wood to line the floor of the culvert.

The culvert was built at the same time as the Causey Arch and the Tanfield Railway (1723 according to this website (http://www.timarchive2.freeuk.com/html/causey.htm)) and is of fine sandstone construction, with only a small amount of later reinforcement in the form of a concrete portal at one end, presumably due to bank erosion. The culvert was built to carry the new-fangled railway, which shipped coals from the Durham pits to the staithes on the Tyne, where they would be loaded onto barges and sailed up and down the country (as far as London and Kent) to feed the furnaces of the burgeoning Industrial Revolution.

Visited on a warm spring day with Kona and Sandman, this was a really idyllic spot, with dippers catching insects, flying in and out of the culvert. Sandman made us all ninja staffs and we attracted some very odd looks from the local horse riders. Of course we were only interested in the historic mediation of bank slippage and slope stability of man-made earthworks...;)


Both ends of the culvert - note the modern concrete structure contrasted with the original stone structure:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3120/2321856130_e28c85c6bd.jpg?v=0 http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3250/2321858210_afaa347b45.jpg?v=0

A section of the boardwalk - the riffles are caused by the water passing over each wooden section. Also note the wooden ceiling, holding up the several hundred thousand tonnes of rock and earth they used to build the bank the railway runs over :eek::


Arched stone section


Arty shot:


Another nice little culvert I'd like to go back to at some point :)

03-04-2009, 03:59 PM
Interesting report Doozer. The silky water in the long exposures looks great.

03-04-2009, 04:47 PM
That looks a cool place to explore, and nice pictures too.

03-04-2009, 04:51 PM
Thanks for the positive comments guys. This was my first culvert so I wasn't sure how I'd cope with the combination of water plus underground (my usual fare was mines, in which water + underground = bad) so I didn't know exactly how I'd react, but it was one of the more relaxed explores I'd done to date :)

03-04-2009, 06:25 PM
Yeah, nice pics fella!

14-04-2009, 08:18 PM
Bloody 'ell. Wooden floors, what ever next!

15-04-2009, 07:32 AM
All the better for clog dancing to your favourite Dr Busker tune.


15-04-2009, 12:15 PM
Really like the last shot! :thumb

15-04-2009, 12:50 PM
Great pics there. The water looks great:thumb :)