Restoration work at King's Mill Viaduct offers unique experience for adventure-seekers

Conservation works to Kings Mill Viaduct have given an old bridge a new life – including dangling brave abseilers over its highest point!

By Andy Done-Johnson
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 7:39 pm

For the very first time, the public were invited to abseil over the viaduct, as part of National Lottery Open Week.

Improvements have also been made to the surface of the viaduct, providing pleasant access over it and helping passers-by get closer to the stunning view over Hermitage Pond and the heronry.

Kings Mill Viaduct (originally known as Portland Viaduct) is one of the oldest in the country, it was built for the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway, which opened on Easter Tuesday, April 13, 1819.

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Getting ready to abseil down the viaduct

For the first 30 years, wagons and carriages were pulled by horses. The transition to steam on the original Mansfield to Pinxton line didn’t take place until 1849.

These days you are more likely to see an abseil line than a railway line, as Notts Outdoors make great use of the viaduct for willing adventurers

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council was joined by Councillor June Stendall, of Mansfield District Council, which has been working in partnership with the Ashfield authority on the improvements to the viaduct.

Coun Stendall attended the abseiling event, as the councillor for Grange Farm ward, which includes the viaduct.

Coun Zadrozny said: “It is fantastic the viaduct has not only received restoration work but is now being used for new activities. I jumped at the chance of abseiling off the side, and I hope that everyone that had a go had as much fun as I did.”

Drew Cartwright, manager of the Mill Adventure Base at Notts Outdoors, said: “Notts Outdoors are proud to have worked with our partners to deliver this exciting activity. Abseiling from such an iconic and historical structure in the local area helps the local community connect with its vibrant heritage whilst getting fit, learning new skills, and having fun.”

Councillor Andy Burgin, portfolio holder for environment and leisure at Mansfield District Council, said: “This is such an important railway heritage monument nationally that it is fantastic to make this place more accessible to everyone with these improvement works.”

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