The Mansfield and Pinxton Railway was a horse-drawn railway constructed in 1819 to transport stone, coal and lime from Mansfield to the head of the Pinxton branch of the Cromford Canal. It is the first viaduct of its kind in the UK, and remains intact due to its historical protection.
The Mansfield and Pinxton became the first railway in the East Midlands to be incorporated by an Act of Parliament, in 1817. The first load of coal arrived in Mansfield on April 13, 1819 and was taken to the marketplace to be ceremoniously burnt.
The line was then taken over by the newly-formed Midland Railway Company in 1847. Several parts of the old lines had been winding with gentle gradients for the horses; an unusual feature in modern railway construction. This structure with its five stone arches remained in use as part of a railway siding right up until 1970. The viaduct now carries a footpath and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
As part of a wider renovation and restoration project, HMS was contacted by one of our longest standing clients, Martin Cowman Limited, to install a bespoke designed resin bound paving installation to the viaduct, transforming the existing footpath from overgrown scrubland to a practical and beautifully designed space with a nod to its former heritage.
Granite stonework and an impressively etched memorial stone outlines the location of the original railway tracks, which we infilled in black Decra®Set bound paving to given an impression of the original infrastructure. Each flanking side has been surfaced using a lighter Scandinavian White blend of natural aggregates to replicate ballast, and add striking contrast to the black paving and granite stonemasonry.
The entire project totalled around 550m² and was completed by our dedicated installation team in under a week. The transformation of the site is undeniable, creating both an aesthetically impressive and safe, usable space for years to come, whilst maintaining the origins of this historically important location.