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Big Water of Fleet Viaduct

A remote but remarkable twenty-arch railway viaduct which crosses the Big Water of Fleet 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct was constructed in 1861 as part of the Portpatrick Railway. It was the largest engineering structure on this railway. In 1924, due to cracks appearing, the masonry structure had to be reinforced, with brick casings built around the piers and tie-rods and old rails used to strengthen the arches. The result was a functional rather than picturesque viaduct. Despite this, it was to find fame as the location for two films; the 39 Steps (1935), adapted from John Buchan's novel and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and Five Red Herrings (1975) a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery starring Ian Carmichael and Russell Hunter.

The viaduct fell from use when the railway was closed in 1965, but is now owned by Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity who are responsible for developing the National Cycle Network. It is B-listed.


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