BB1615 : Not Just Jericho

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Jericho is a peculiar name for a makeshift township sprung up to build a railway bridge. What most people recall about Jericho is that the walls came tumbling down.

BBC borrowed the name Jericho to produce a somewhat sanitised tale about a township of folk who built the Ribblehead Viaduct.

Jericho and the viaduct as per TV

 The reality

Had that program not been recently broadcast then it is possible it would not have occurred to us to set Ingleborogh and the Viaduct as today's objectives.

I am pleased to report that whilst Jericho's walls may have tumbled down, those of the viaduct itself are still standing.

The Ribblehead Viaduct

We parked at the Old Hill Inn and, after a bit of a misunderstanding about the route, soon found the motorway that leads to the north wall of Ingleborough.

Ingleborough from Braithwaite Wife Hole

Ingleborough outcrops

Whernside across the Limestone Pavement

First glimpse of the Viaduct

The path is flagged.  That might sound off-putting but actually it seemed appropriate, being large stone flags obviously obtained from a previous domestic or working environment.  They proved highly effective providers of a dry passage across that boggy land, Humphrey Bottom.  

As you approach the north face, the impression you formed from a distance is confirmed.  It is steep.  I had never been up that way but do recall coming down it several years ago and thinking it rather "interesting". Now it has been gentrified with rock steps and is quite secure.

The climb provided plenty of opportunities to look over to Whernside and the limestone pavements plus gain glimpses of the viaduct.  Once the summit was reached, the distant Pen-y-Ghent could also be seen but of more short term interest was the large cross shaped structure that provided an ideal lunch stop.

Sing out loud: Asolo Trio

I told you it was steep

The scar, looking northt

Comitibus : Ingleborough

It was a beautiful day and by now the slightly chill wind had ceased.

After examining the summit plateau we headed north-east along the top until reaching the trig-point at Park Fell.  Part of the path had been constructed on top of an unusual railed structure.  Just why that should be up there was not clear and much was in disrepair.

The railed path

Looking back to the face of Ingleborough

By now, we had a full view of the Viaduct and could start to form an impression of the task those Victorians had undertaken.  We could see some distance to the east an unusual enclosed area that we wondered if it had been a burial ground for some who failed to survive the construction.

The sweep of the Viaduct

What is this?  Remains of Jericho?

The steep descent brought us down to the Gauber Road and then Blea Moor Road.  We were quite puzzled what a large number of young people were doing - nothing irresponsible, I hasten to add.  Maybe literally a field visit from an agricultural college?

Instead of heading back towards Ingleton, past the Station and the Station Inn, we followed the track that led to and under the viaduct.  

Whernside behind

Ingleborough through

It was an education to read on a plaque that Jericho had not been the only township set up for the construction.  There had also been: Salt Lake, Sabastopol, Jerusalem, Batty Green, Belgravia, Tunnel Huts, Inkerman and Blea Moor.

The southern side

Farewell Jericho

Hello Old Hill Inn

We returned by track and road to the Old Hill Inn.  Much older than the Viaduct's Jericho, fortunately its walls were also still intact.  And its bar open!

Don, 20th April 2016




Wednesday 20th April 2016

Distance in miles:

11.2 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,064 (Memory Map)


Ingleborough, Ribblehead Viaduct


Don, John Hn, Robin, Stan, Terry, Tony

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