Rail Inspired Infrastructure

Along the Mole Gap Trail…

Viaduct, meander and chapel: a landscape altered by the railway

South of Cowslip Cottage the path leads across a wooden walkway providing a close up view of the high arches of the railway viaduct immediately alongside. The slanting brickwork constructed to form these arches is a bricklayers’ tour de force. Looking over the adjacent field you will see a u-shaped depression. This indicates a former meander in the river’s alignment, artificially cut off to speed the flow of the Mole in order to protect the viaduct. A little way further, as the Trail exits Norbury Park into Westhumble, is St Michael’s Chapel of Ease. This charming and unusual chapel adjacent to the railway was converted from an agricultural building, first as a rest room and then as a mission for the spiritual benefit of the railway workers engaged in constructing the Leatherhead to Dorking line. It is still in regular use as a place of worship.