When a humble viaduct became a ‘world treasure’

Barrie Farnsworth reports on how an old railway viaduct linking Derbyshire with Nottinghamshire became a ‘world monument’ worth saving.

IT’S not every day that a humble railway viaduct gets equal billing with the world-famous Notre Dame cathedral – but that’s the premier league that the Bennerley Viaduct, linking Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, is now in. Yes, this Grade II*-listed structure over the River Erewash is the only British ‘monument’ to be included in the World Monument Watch list for 2020. More than 250 monuments worldwide applied for this status and only 25 were successful. “To be the only British site on the list is quite something – and to see the viaduct’s name next to Notre Dame de Paris in the list was fabulous,” said Jeff Wynch, chair of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct. “This is a fantastic coup for us and will bring national and international focus to the area.”