Walton Line Bridge

12 July 2021

An enthusiastic group who could see the benefit in restoring and repairing this historic bridge.

In the middle of the 18th century there was a proposal to build a railway line connecting the Harwich Branch of The Great Eastern Railway at Mistley to The Tendring Hundred Railway at Walton to be known as “The Mistley, Thorpe and Walton Railway”. This duly progressed and the line was incorporated by an Act of Parliament dated 21 July 1863, with the first sod being turned on 6th April 1864 and this commemorated by a plaque outside Mistley Station. The route was to be roughly southwards from beyond the Quay loop, east of Mistley Station, to Tendring, and then east to Walton, with a station at Thorpe. The route to be followed required the construction of cuttings, embankments, level crossings and bridges.

The only remaining structure of note is the bridge on the B1352 on the way to Bradfield just before the Mistley/Bradfield Parish Boundary.

The space beneath the bridge became the local rubbish tip in Victorian times and continued as a dump until the 1950’s when the arch was nearly full of rubbish. Over time the rubbish has been covered over and the land levelled either side of the bridge. The bridge was examined by Essex Highways several years ago and the brickwork beneath the bridge was found to be in excellent condition, however the brickwork became covered in ivy and brambles and was hardly visible.

The group turned the Walton Line bridge into a project and started with clearing the bridge. The aim was simply to remove the ivy and other growth, exposing the brickwork on both sides.

The plaque was provided by Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership in recognition of the work done.

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