World’s oldest rail tunnel is Grade Two listed

The Derbyshire Archeological Society have been awarded 20k or so to uncover the secrets of the Butterley Gangroad (possibly the world's oldest railway tunnel), which runs between Fritchley and Crich. John Midgley and Trevor
The Derbyshire Archeological Society have been awarded 20k or so to uncover the secrets of the Butterley Gangroad (possibly the world's oldest railway tunnel), which runs between Fritchley and Crich. John Midgley and Trevor
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A Derbyshire railway tunnel, which last year was confirmed as the oldest in the world, has been listed.

Fritchley tunnel had been boarded-up for more than 30 years before being declared the world’s oldest by official adjudicators from the Guinness World Book of Records in October 2014.

It has now been declared as a grade two listed building by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of English Heritage.

As reported in the Belper News, there were hopes that a section of track which lies on the route of the Butterley Gangroad, a horse-operated railway built by 1793 would prove to be among the earliest ever found.

Derbyshire Archaeological Society presented the evidence to the Guinness World Book of Records which said it was satisfied that the claim is justified.

The previous record holder, which was also located in Derbyshire at Chapel Milton, is at least two years younger.

More than 100 people carried out the research work to establish the exact age of the tunnel including state-of-the-art laser scan technology experts.

Enthusiast Trevor 
Griffin, who is the manager of the Butterley Gangroad Project was delighted that the tunnel had been listed.

He said: “It is really pleasing to hear it has been recognised in this way.

“Considering a few years ago it was nothing more than a hole in the ground that no-one knew about, it is pretty good going that we have now seen it listed.”

Earlier this year, Mr Griffin expressed his delight at having the world record confirmed and highlighted the dedication of individuals and organisations that had helped raise awareness of the tunnel.

He said at the time: “Its brilliant that we have gained a world record for this tunnel which had been lost and overlooked in the past.

“The success is a great credit to the many 
individuals, firms and organisationsincluding the Heritage Lottery Fund, who have supported the project.”