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Network Rail Bridge 177 bridges the River Brain with a viaduct which also now spans Armond Road. Its four five-ring three centred arches are of 30ft span. The height is only 26ft. The arches are in red brick which implies the whole viaduct once was the same, but would appear to have been refaced to a large extent since. The parapet has been removed.

The extension of the Eastern Counties Railway from Brentwood to Colchester was not opened until 1843.

By 1841 contracts were let for the building of the railway to Witham including a ‘Witham Embankment: 40,000 cubic yards carried with 180,000 cubic yards to complete'.  Also the ‘Witham Mill Head Viaduct of 4 arches, 30ft. span, 25ft. in height was erected’. Considering all these works were carried out by hand, including all the excavations and embankments, it was truly a massive undertaking and a remarkable achievement.

The road bridge over the river Brain is shown in the foreground of the photograph above. It was built by developer Carter and Ward of Wickford who built the adjacent estate in the early 1960s. This was when the road was built through one of the arches, and was adopted by Witham UDC on 19th June 1962. The road bridge was apparently built with some difficulty, but the problems were not recorded.

Sources: Peter Kay (Essex Railway Heritage Supplement); Witham & Countryside Society

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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