From eyesore to tourist attraction

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It is strange how sometimes things that were once considered an eyesore by one generation eventually become valued by another.

The Monsal Head Viaduct, now an iconic part of the famous beauty spot with its magnificent view down Monsal Dale and up the Wye valley, was once seen as an outrageous monstrosity.

When the railway was built in the 1863 the viaduct, properly called the Headstone Viaduct, was constructed to carry the former Midland Railway over the River Wye.

The railway building started well, but hit opposition.

The Duke of Devonshire would not allow the line across Chatsworth Park, and the Duke of Rutland refused an alternative route over his estate at Haddon.

Eventually a station was built at Hassop, and the Duke of Rutland agreed to building on his land if the track was out of sight.

But there were loud protests about the viaduct, an impressive structure, soaring up to around 80ft. Art critic John Ruskin campaigned against it. However, the viaduct remained in use for over 100 years until it closed in 1968.

In 1970 it was awarded a preservation order.
 It was eventually taken over by the Peak District National Park and it now forms part of the Monsal Trail.