16 November 2005
NEWCASTLE-CARLISLE RAILWAY -- THOMPSON, Benjamin. A Plan & Section of an intended Railway or Tram Road from the town and county of Newcastle to the City of Carlisle in the county of Northumberland ... surveyed under the direction of Benjamin Thompson by T.V. Bluckett and J. Studholme. Newcastle: August, 1828.
Hand-coloured lithographed plan and section by Engelmann, Graf, Coindet & Co., on 12 leaves, (overall size, 741 x 670cm). The map covering the course of the tram way from Newcastle to Carlisle, marking parish and district boundaries, land plots and principal buildings. (Occasional light spotting.) Mounted on cloth, wooden rollers.
AN IMPORTANT EARLY PLAN OF FIRST RAILWAY TO CROSS BRITAIN (the third to be built in Britain after Stockton-Darlington 1825 and Liverpool-Manchester 1830). The concept of a horse-drawn waggon way linking Newcastle and Carlisle was first put forward in the early-1800s as a cheaper alternative to a canal. By March 1825 the influential gentry of Newcastle had resolved to build the railway link. Benjamin Thompson, a mining railway engineer and coal owner, became involved and a first survey of the route was proposed by Thompson and Chapman in June 1825, and the Newcastle Carlisle Railway Company formed. Due to problems with errors on the levels and difficulties of certain landowners, the original 1825 Bill was withdrawn and it was not until 8 April 1828 that a new Bill was introduced and Royal Assent granted on 22 May 1829. Construction began in March 1830, the first section was opened on 9 March 1835 and the line finally completed to Carlisle in June 1839. Benjamin Thompson went on to establish an ironworks at Wylarn, and built several locomotives. The present plan appears to have been one of a few specially produced before the Royal Assent, for circulation to the major landowners and mill owners on the route, presumably to assuage dissent and indicate which parties owned the land over which the track would be built.
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