A massive structure

New England Road railway bridge
Photo by Farid Ullah

As we know it today this bridge on the New England Road is a massive structure. In fact the original London to Brighton South Coast Railway bridge is a maximum of 20 foot wide. I took the photograph [because of] the original yellow brick used, and the design as you view it looking from Preston Circus up towards the Seven Dials is the original design – nothing has been altered.

Comments about this page

  • I also remember walking underneath this viaduct up to Seven Dials and it being very dark. Do I also recall this bridge being just below the turntable for the steam trains?

    By Ruth Rickards (22/01/2004)
  • From 1947 to 1950 I lived with my grandparents who had, what was then, The New England Inn at the corner of New England Street and New England Road. We (7 and 8 year olds) used to come down the hill, at considerable speeds, seated most precariously on a large book and a metal roller skate. Under the bridge and most of the way down the paving was smooth but just before we reached Thompset’s yard (next to the pub) we hit a rough patch. At this point we parted company with the improvised skate boards. The wear and tear on pants and boots was considerable; but it was fun. I seem to remember that to the right of the photo at the bridge exit there was some sort of toilet. Also, about 15 to 20 yards down, there was a horse trough with some sort of metal commemoration plate on it. Finally, let’s not forget The Bridge Inn which was situated at the Seven Dials end of the bridge.

    By John Merrington (05/12/2005)
  • Hi Ruth, the turntable was just a little further up the hill from the bridge, on the left hand side as you go up. I’ve seen it marked on old maps, and vaguely remember it myself. I was told that many years ago a train just approaching the turntable overshot it smashed through the brick wall and landed on the pavement in New England Hill.

    By Peter Groves (17/01/2007)
  • The foresight of the railway builders (or was it perhaps just happenstance, due to the lie of the land?) in building the New England Road bridge so loftily meant that it was the only railway overbridge on the London line under which double-decker buses – almost universal in Brighton before the introduction of one-man operation – could travel.  This made New England Road a very busy east-west bus route, being also the town’s northernmost bus route actually crossing the London line, following the closure to buses of Dyke Road Drive bridge in the late 50s (excepting the Southdown single-deckers which were able to sneak under the arch at Tongdean Lane).  A glimpse of the turntable could be had from the top deck of a 38 or 44 ascending New England Road and, if you were lucky, you’d also get a glimpse of the Brighton Works shunter, a Stroudley Terrier in original LBSCR yellow and brown.

    I passed through this bridge every school day for seven years (1960-67) on my way to the Grammar School (now BHASVIC), occasionally walking or on the 44, but mostly on my BSA tourer bike, the three-speed Sturmey-Archer hub which was the only assistance I had for the steep ascent of Old Shoreham Road. I never shirked from this task and this may have contributed to my current fitness 45 years later!

    By Len Liechti (27/04/2007)
  • Double deckers can get under the arch in Tongdean Lane. Just.

    By Alex (23/04/2010)

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