ITV’s gripping historical drama ‘Jericho’ has built up a loyal following of viewers. Some of them have been getting in touch with us, keen to find out more about the real setting for the TV show.
Well, Culverdale viaduct is in fact Ribblehead – as any fan of the Settle Carlisle Railway will tell you. Jericho was the name of one of the many shanty towns that sprang up during the building of the railway and the mighty arches that span the valley between Ingleborough and Whernside.
It’s perfectly possible to explore Culverdale, oops, sorry, Ribblehead on foot. The land around the viaduct is open access and there are well made up stone paths that lead from the road right up to the structure itself. Nothing beats standing below the arches and gazing upwards if you want to really experience its scale.
The best way to arrive at Ribblehead is by the railway of course. After leaving the train, just walk down towards the Station Inn and cross over the road where you’ll find footpaths to take you to the viaduct. The Settle Carlisle Railway Trust runs a visitor centre and café at the station (normally open 7 days from 10.30 until 15.30, staffed by volunteers). They do a great slice of fruitcake, served in the proper Yorkshire way, with a slice of Wensleydale cheese.
You can explore Ribblehead at your leisure, soak up the atmosphere and try to imagine what it must have been like to live there, labouring in the elements. Why not download a fantastic audio guide and walking route here to help bring ‘Jericho’ to life. (Remember to download before you set off, as there’s no mobile signal at Ribblehead!).
The Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust is promoting a series of free guided walks which will give a fascinating insight into the real lives of the navvies at Ribblehead. You can find out more here.