Brunel’s forgotten bridge

Excuse me stepping outside of Bath for the moment but, what with Liverpool losing its World Heritage status and Bath waiting with baited breath today to see if it will get pick up a second WH designation – this time as one of the Great Spas of Europe – let’s hear it for Box and one dedicated campaigner called Varian Tye.

He wrote to say:

“I note in the past you have included short articles about areas outside Bath – such as Middle Hill Tunnel in Box when electrification of the line was proposed – and I recently managed to get a Brunel railway bridge in the Parish of Box listed by writing to Historic England requesting it be added to the statutory list.

There were no lights in the tunnel in Brunel’s day! My walk through the famous Box tunnel back in 2015.

I wondered if you would be interested in reporting this in

Perhaps in some ways a forgotten Brunel Bridge – but now no longer with its new listing!

I think your readers may be interested in this story as the famous Brunel GWR line, also runs through Bath, and I often think that the section from Box into and through Bath is one of the most interesting on the line from Bristol to Paddington.

I wrote a short article on the bridge for my local history community web site, Box People and Places, with photos of the bridge and some archive research I did on it to help convince HE it should be  listed.

Below is a link to the article which provides more information on the bridge in terms of photos and archive research

Happy to that Varian – and also to direct people to the where you can find out much more about a very interesting and impressive Wiltshire village.


  1. Greetings.

    Re forgotten bridges, am I right in thinking that the skewed bridge over the A36, at the junction with North Parade, just outside Bath Spa station, is a modern replacement for one by Brunel? My (doubtless faulty) memory tells me that this was, when built, the most skewed bridge ever attempted. I believe there is one across the Thames near which is equally skewed, with an even flatter arch.

    My family moved to Bath in 1969, so I saw the original, with its two arches. What a fine HGV-preventer it would have made today – doubtless the brutal reason for its barbaric destruction at the time.

    Nick Hallam

    Sent from my iPad


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