THIS month marks the 150th anniversary since work began on the Yorkshire Dales’ most iconic man-made landmark, The Ribblehead Viaduct.

Yorkshire Dales arts charity Settle Stories is celebrating its history with numerous creative commissions that bring the story of the creation of the viaduct to

life for families and young audiences.

Ribblehead viaduct is a masterpiece of Victorian engineering built as part of the Settle-Carlisle railway.

The Grade II listed structure is at Ribblehead, so called through its close proximity to the source of the River Ribble - at the confluence between Gayle Beck and Batty Wife Beck - which starts as a small stream before heading west and out into the Irish Sea near Preston.

The viaduct was built by 2,300 men, mostly navvies from all across the UK and Ireland, who camped for years in nearby purpose-built shanty towns.

Thanks to National Lottery players, Settle Stories is marking this anniversary with its new project, Ribblehead 150, which celebrates the rich and varied stories of the viaduct.

The viaduct, also known ss Batty Moss Viaduct, has 24 arches, stands 104 feet high and is 440 yards long.

John Moorhouse, chairman of the Settle Carlisle Railway Development Company, said of the initiative: “This has been a great project to celebrate 150 years since the start of work on building the

iconic Ribblehead viaduct, an outstanding feature of the famous Settle to Carlisle railway line.

“There is a fascinating story to tell and what better way than involving all members of the community in the telling?”

Through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund Settle Stories has commissioned artists to bring the history of this landmark to life for young people.

Through interactive experiences, children are invited to explore the 1870s shanty towns. Artists John Hamlett

created a Youtube experience Shanty Life , in which viewers can get a taste of what a navvie’s life was like on this rugged landscape 150 years ago.

There is also a shadow play, in which

puppeteer Lois Conlan captures the rich story of building the viaduct.

The Settle - Carlisle Railway Development Company funded a Google Tour, allowing families to discover the historical architecture and tour the area from the comfort of their own home.

The Google Tour allows audiences to uncover the history of this unique landscape and the famous railway line through 360° panoramas.

Louise Cross, project manager of Ribblehead 150, said: “Uncovering the stories of Ribblehead viaduct with showstopping local artists has been an

absolute privilege.

“Our commissions will unlock a rich history for the next generation to fall in love with their local heritage.”

There are various other commissions audiences can look forward to, including a touring library exhibition and a family activity pack.

Settle Stories was established 10 years ago. Its purpose is to make the arts accessible to all in rural places, connecting communities and

removing the barriers typically involved in travelling in search for new experiences.

It learning programme reaches thousands of children every year, with storytellers covering everything from Black History Month to the maths curriculum in schools.

Its hub, at The Joinery, in Dawson’s Court, Settle, hosts events for all ages, bringing year-round art to rural Yorkshire.

For more information about the experiences the charity is involved in and for more information about the Ribblehead viaduct project, visit: