Having passed over the narrow embankment, with its terrifying drops either side, this is the point to look back and admire the effort which went into its building.
There is something incredibly ancient about this structure. Completed in 1831 it is ancient, in railway terms. But it speaks of something almost prehistoric.
We are used to nineteenth century railway architecture looking very precise; highly engineered, made of uniform brick. This is nothing of the sort. Now look at the wider landscape. Why does this structure seem to fit in so well?
The builders must have borrowed from the deceptively simple and centuries-old technology of the drystone wallers. Walls made of local limestone criss-cross the green fields around us in all directions.
Getting bricks and mortar way up here would have been a laborious and very expensive task. The stone wallers only had to dig small pits right next to where they were building to find enough material. There was no need for mortar either, if they used their traditional skills to cleverly lock the whole structure in place.
But look at the quantity of stone in that embankment. Where did that lot come from? Behind us on the hillside are the remains of an old quarry, which almost certainly provided the bulk of the stone. Perhaps some of it also came from the site of our second stop…
Continue along the High Peak Trail a few hundred metres until the path enters a sudden, deep cutting.
This trail was originally developed by Simon Corble for the Royal Geographical Society’s Discovering Britain.
Simon Corble is a theatre director, playwright and actor based in Derbyshire’s Peak District, is passionate about the countryside and discovering the hidden secrets of the natural world.
Thanks are also due to Ben Brooksbank and David A Hull for photographs reproduced under Creative Commons Licenses