THIS week’s From the Archive features a photograph of the broken Porthkerry viaduct.

In early January 1898 the Porthkerry viaduct was damaged by subsidence caused by unsound foundations.

Land sank around four to five feet down the embankment by Porthkerry viaduct causing one of the pillars to sink into the ground by four inches and the rails across the bridge to buckle.

A large workforce of men was deployed to make the viaduct safe and to render repairs.

After the structural damage was discovered trains continued to run at the normal timetable up to the viaduct, where passengers disembarked and walked over the bridge to be collected by another train on the other side.

The general manager soon put a stop to this pending a further inspection - a good idea as soon after the pillar sunk by another six inches.

Engineers decided shifting sand underneath the bedrock and the occasional high tide sweeping up as high as the pillar base had caused the instability.

The Barry & District News would like to thank Alan Payne for the photograph and Cllr Shirley Hodges for the information.

If you have an old Barry photograph you would like to see included, with information about what it depicts, email