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These timber posts in the riverbed represent a catalogue of ill-fated bridge building. The Whitby-Pickering railway was carried over the Murk Esk river here from 1845. Nobody knows for sure what the original bridge looked like but it was washed away in floods and replaced by a timber structure, which was again damaged in the 1930s (see photo below). Now all that remains are the timber posts from this replacement bridge, two of which are displayed alongside the track (see photo below). The old railway now forms the Rail Trail footpath and a modern timber footbridge carries walkers over the river.
Picture from 1930s of further damage to timber bridge. c. Whitby Museum/C M Doncaster
Bridge support posts, with steel tips for driving into the river