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Portland Street and Soulis Street, Viaduct

A Category B Listed Building in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.612 / 55°36'43"N

Longitude: -4.4957 / 4°29'44"W

OS Eastings: 242903

OS Northings: 638201

OS Grid: NS429382

Mapcode National: GBR 3G.MK2R

Mapcode Global: WH3Q9.X6CM

Entry Name: Portland Street and Soulis Street, Viaduct

Listing Date: 3 July 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 380643

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35951

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmarnock

County: East Ayrshire

Town: Kilmarnock

Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock East and Hurlford

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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1848. 23-arch, railway viaduct. Coursed squared rubble with polished ashlar dressings and parapet.

S & N ELEVATIONS: 23 segmental arches rise from piers with moulded impost courses. Wider span to Portland Street with raised rusticated flanking piers and polished quoins. Arches to W of Portland Street of diminishing span and with shallow pointed heads. To E (near the weir): pair of piers on heavy rusticated cutwaters sited in the Kilmarnock Water, piers immediately flanking inset into river bank. Manmade soil embankment to E (parallel with Kay Park and London Road): arched, coursed sandstone ashlar wall around base with sloped buttresses supporting, squared copes surmounting all.

Statement of Interest

Built to carry the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. The railway first came to Kilmarnock in 1837 when the Kilmarnock & Ayr Railway Company was formed, followed by the Glasgow & Dalry Railway Company, six years later. The number of goods and passengers carried rose quickly, as its popularity continued on from that of the Duke of Portland's wagon way. In 1847, the Kilmarnock to Troon wagon-way was bought from the Duke and converted for the use of passenger steam trains. Within the next 3 years, more lines were opened up with stops at Galston and Newmilns. This magnificent railway viaduct was constructed from the station, across Portland and Soulis Streets and spanning the Kilmarnock Water to join land at the bottom of what became Kay Park. At the time, it towered over the older, smaller properties surrounding. 1850 saw the completion of the Glasgow and South Western's Nithsdale line. The cross border track ran between Carlisle and Glasgow and stopped at Kilmarnock. The old station house was replaced by the one we see today (listed separately), built to cope with the extra passenger numbers and freight. The viaduct is still in use, carrying the main line south from Glasgow to Dumfries. It continues to dominate the streetscape to the north of the town centre.

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