The Viaduct

Somerton's Viaduct, constructed between 1904 and 1906, has five arches. it is 50 feet high and the foundations are 50 feet deep, because the valley is filled with soft wet sand and mud. One account says that, although Somerton is so far from the sea, the river was tidal at that time and work had to stop at high tide.

The work was photographed in great detail by one of the young engineers on the line, Ernest Percy Wooldridge, whose album is now in the care of the Marmaduke Cradock Trust. Many of the photographs have been published in the book, "Castle Cary to Durston: the Story of a Railway Line", 2006.

The material for the embankments on each end of the viaduct was brought from the cuttings on each side of the valley, one cutting through the cemetery and the town centre. There was also a great deal of rock taken from the tunnel through Somerton Hill, a mile away from the river.

The viaduct was opened to freight trains on 12th February 1906 and to passengers on 2nd July the same year, when the line became the main route from Paddington to Plymouth and the Cornish Riviera.