With the arrival of the railway in Folkestone in 1843, the town began to prosper. Business and tourism were booming and there was a need for further railway stations to be built. A suitable site was earmarked on the eastern side of the Foord Valley, hence a viaduct was built. The Foord Viaduct was designed by the Victorian engineer, Sir William Cubitt and completed in remarkably short time in 1844. It is built from bricks made locally and comprises nineteen arches, the highest of which measures 100ft. The structure gained Grade 2 listed status in 1975 and has been more recently reinforced with steel tie rods within the arches and fencing sympathetically erected for safety reasons. The viaduct remains one of Folkestone’s great landmarks.
For Folkestone Triennial 2014, Potrč and Ooze Architects have used the iconic brick structure of the mainline Foord Road Viaduct as the backdrop for The Wind Lift – a wind powered lift that will carried people to the top of the viaduct offering stunning views over the Creative Quarter and Folkestone Harbour. The iconic structure of the viaduct is beautiful in its own right, but also marked with the town’s heritage (the advent of the railways was the beginning of Folkestone’s modern age). Now it has been co-opted to serve as a platform from which to look out on the future.
Cross curricular Activities
Art/DT – Famous artists and bridges, Drawing, painting, sketching, using a range of techniques and processes to recreate a picture of a bridge. Patterns and textures. Photographing bridges. Designing and constructing model viaduct/bridge using a range of materials.
PSHE- building bridges (Getting on with others), team work building the strongest bridge.
Geography – Famous bridges worldwide, types of bridges, mapping locations of bridges.
History – battles named after bridges, famous engineers, importance of bridges for industry and transport.
Maths – bridging through 10, measuring (height, length)
Literacy – poetry/stories about bridges.
PE – building bridges.