seven arches



Walking or cycling south from Challum Crescent along the paths beside the Dighty one immediately becomes aware of an architectural gem, which crosses the burn. Some can still recall that this towering viaduct carried goods and passengers on trains from Dundee East to Forfar calling at Barnhill, Kingennie, Wellbank, Monikie, Kirkbuddo and Kingsmuir before sweeping into Forfar from the north-east. The Seven Arches or Barnhill Viaduct is over 140 years old. A close look at the structure surely shows the strength of Victorian engineering and construction. Today people use the path along the rail track to cross between Grange Road and the housing estates around Barnhill.


One wonders if this structure was located elsewhere more would be made of it as a tourist/leisure attraction. Located on the border between Angus and Dundee an opportunity has been missed. So come on councillors get together and make the most of this gem!


People can see  Seven Arches as part of the group’s model of the Dundee to Forfar Railway. The model is approximately 25ft long by 3ft wide about six times larger than The Monifieth Model in Monifieth Library. The announcement of the Dundee to Forfar Model has resulted in a significant increase in group members who wished to  to the model’s building. They have brought many skills e.g. joinery, railway, craft and research. Demand for oral history recording is stretching our interviewing resources and the group would welcome support from those with interview/counselling awareness so that we can build an oral/video history to complement the model.


The model  display has become an educational and cultural attraction appreciated by locals and visitors.


As one studies Seven Arches questions leap into mind “Why was it built?” “Did it ever make a profit?” “Why did it fail?” “What impact did it make on the community and what is its legacy?”

History is littered with great projects that failed to meet their hopes. As we consider wind/solar technology, shopping centres, housing schemes and airports/rail facilities can history give answers so that we do better in the future?


There are a few large trees, which during summer obscure the beauty of Seven Arches and it is best-viewed autumn, winter and spring. However the area is pleasant at any time for easy walking in a semi-rural environment.

 LETus have your memories! SEE PAGE ON HISTORY RECORDINGS.