List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: TYLER HILL RAILWAY TUNNEL, INCLUDING NORTH AND SOUTH PORTALS, UNDER TYLER HILL (FORMER CANTERBURY AND WHITSTABLE RAILWAY)

List entry Number: 1392354

Location

TYLER HILL RAILWAY TUNNEL, INCLUDING NORTH AND SOUTH PORTALS, UNDER TYLER HILL (FORMER CANTERBURY AND WHITSTABLE RAILWAY), ST STEPHEN'S HILL

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
KentCanterburyDistrict Authority

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 24-Dec-2007

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 502573

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The Tyler Hill Railway Tunnel on the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* It is a substantially intact and very early structure from the pioneering days in the development of the passenger railway; * Although modest in their architectural form, the two distinct portals and distinct tunnel forms are a physical manifestation of experimentation in early railway tunnel construction; * Albeit by a narrow margin, it is the world's first modern railway tunnel on the first passenger steam railway and as such merits listing in a higher grade for its more than special historic significance.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details



856/0/10013 ST STEPHEN'S HILL 24-DEC-07 Tyler Hill Railway tunnel, including north and so uth portals, under Tyler Hill (former Canterbury and Whitstable Railway)

II* Tyler Hill Tunnel, Canterbury & Whitstable Railway, constructed 1826-30 and opened May 1830. Some late-C20 repairs following areas of collapse.

MATERIALS: Red and yellow brick with dressed stone to the northern portal.

EXTERIOR: South portal: Red brick round-headed arch of header and stretcher courses and brick piers. North portal: Yellow brick elliptical arch of four header courses, splayed buttresses with tooled ashlar blocks as terminals to buttresses and parapet.

INTERIOR: Brick tunnel 757m in length to accommodate a single-tracked railway, on a gradient of 1 in 56. Southern end: a standard arched vault with parallel side wall construction largely of alternating stretcher and header courses. Soot blackening evident. Surviving pedestrian refuge. Northern section: not inspected due to infilling but known to be elliptical in form.

HISTORY: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway (or CWR and affectionately known as 'The Crab & Winkle Line') was a pioneering early railway, representing an intermediate stage between early mining tramways or waggonways, and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, which was the prototypical modern main line railway. Proposals for its construction were put forward in 1823 by William James, and a Parliamentary Act obtained in 1825. Construction had begun by 1826. William James was an ambitious early railway engineer and entrepreneur, but his career is marked largely by bold schemes which were rarely seen to fruition. James lost his position here to George Stephenson, who assumed control of the works by 1826. The six mile long line was opened on 3rd May 1830, linking Canterbury to a specially constructed harbour at Whitstable. The line carried both passengers and freight from its inauguration. It became especially popular in the summer months for seaside excursions to Whitstable's Tankerton Beach as noted in W J Cox's 'Guide to Whitstable and its surroundings' published in 1876. Trains were hauled along the length of the railway by a combination of horses, ropes operated by fixed engines, and a locomotive (George Stephenson's Invicta which lacked sufficient power for the steeper gradients). The line was taken over by the South Eastern Railway in 1844, the track relaid and the method of propulsion changed to locomotive operation throughout. Passenger traffic on the line ceased in 1931, and the line closed entirely in 1953. Little survives of the original Canterbury & Whitstable Railway. Some sections of the track bed remain but building or engineering remains are sparse. The Tyler Hill tunnel is an important remnant of this early railway line. Trains were hauled through the tunnel by rope haulage from a fixed stationary steam engine. Following an exceptionally wet summer in 1838 cracks and signs of subsidence were noticed at the northern portal. In order to stabilise it the crown of the arch was stripped, a concrete puddling applied, the parapet was lowered to improve drainage and the angled buttresses were added to reinforce the whole. From the onset of South Eastern Railway operation in the 1840s, the tunnel posed a problem due to its restricted dimensions, such that only specially adapted locomotives could be used. However, it was never rebuilt to accommodate larger trains. Collapse of the northern part of the tunnel in the 1970s led to its partial infilling.

The Tyler Hill tunnel is important for being the first tunnel to appear on what is, at least partially, a prototypical modern railway. This tunnel is one of the most significant progressive features of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, representing the inception of a more ambitious scale of railway building, in which railways were to be provided with major engineering features to ensure straight, well engineered routes, so as to provide transport links to match those of canals and turnpike roads. The Tyler Hill tunnel can claim to be the first modern railway tunnel in history, albeit by a narrow margin, for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened just four months later in September 1830, including on its route a longer, double-tracked tunnel at Edge Hill in Liverpool. Tunnelling on an ambitious scale would become a striking feature of the major early railways of the 1830s, notably the London and Birmingham and the Great Western railways.

SOURCES: Canterbury City Council, 2000, Canterbury and Whitstable Railway Conservation Area Appraisal. Hart, B, 1991, The Canterbury & Whistable Railway. Wild Swan Publications Ltd, Didcot Jessup, F W, 1995, A History of Kent. Phillimore: The Darwen County History Series. Simmons, J & Biddle, G, 2003, The Oxford Companion to British Railway History. Oxford University Press www.crabandwinkle.org

REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: The Tyler Hill Tunnel on the Canterbury & Whistable Railway is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* It is a substantially intact and very early structure from the pioneering days in the development of the passenger railway; * Although modest in their architectural form, the two distinct portals and distinct tunnel forms are a physical manifestation of experimentation in early railway tunnel construction; * Albeit by a narrow margin, it is the world's first modern railway tunnel on the first passenger steam railway and as such merits listing in a higher grade for its more than special historic significance.

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: TR 14156 59825

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 20-Dec-2014 at 03:06:14.