Olive Mount

The cutting at Olive Mount was one of the major problems that George Stephenson had to overcome on the Liverpool & Manchester line. Over 480,000 cubic yards of sandstone rock had to be removed to make the two mile long cutting. The rock was blasted out and was then used to build the Roby embankment and the Sankey Viaduct. When finished, the Olive Mount cutting was 20 ft (6 m) wide and 70 ft (21 m) deep.

Thomas Bury, Olive Mount in 1830
Thomas Bury, Olive Mount in 1830

Primary Sources

(1) Samuel Smiles, Life of George Stephenson (1875)

The Olive Mount cutting was the first extensive stone cutting on any railway, and to this day it is one of the most formidable. It is about two miles long, and in some parts 80 feet deep. Mr. Vignobles, afterwards describing it, said it looked as if it had been dug out by giants.