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HER Number:MDV120670
Name:Phillot Tunnel, Dawlish

Summary

Phillot Tunnel is one of several tunnels between Dawlish and Teignmouth constructed for the South Devon Railway in 1846. New east and west portals were built and the tunnel lined in brick when the track was widened in 1902-5.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 960 756
Map Sheet:SX97NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDawlish
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishDAWLISH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RAILWAY TUNNEL (Built, XIX to XX - 1846 AD to 1905 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Phillot's Tunnel marked, on the Great Western Railway.


Garnsworthy, P., 2013, Brunel's Atmostpheric Railway, 50-51 (Monograph). SDV360708.

Phillot Tunnel marked on William Dawson's water colour (No 12) of the route plan between Kennaway and Parson Tunnels.


Historic England, 2018, East and West Portals, Phillot Tunnel, Dawlish, Devon (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV360820.

Notification that Historic England have completed a report on the tunnel portals in order to assess whether they have special architectural or historic interest.
History
The Plymouth, Devonport and Exeter Railway Company was formed in 1840 to establish a railway line between Exeter and Plymouth. In 1843 the name was changed to the South Devon Railway and Isambard Kingdom Brunel was appointed as engineer. In 1844 the South Devon Railway Act was passed, authorising the construction of a single-track, broad-gauge line.
The proposed route included a stretch along the coastline between Dawlish and Teignmouth, between the sea and sandstone cliffs, which required a series of tunnels to be cut through the protruding headland. The line had to negotiate several steep climbs and changes in gradient and Brunel’s plan to deal with this landscape was to adopt an experimental system of atmospheric propulsion. Known as the Atmospheric Railway, it was developed by Samuel Clegg and Jacob and Joseph Samuda on the Dalkey Railway in Ireland in 1844. It used a combination of partial vacuum and atmospheric pressure. Instead of a traditional locomotive engine, stationary engines were placed in pumping stations along the line, extracting air from vacuum pipes laid in the middle of the track. Brunel first used the system in 1844 on a five-mile stretch of the London to Croydon Railway. Despite criticism of the system from
various contemporary engineers he also recommended it for the South Devon Railway. The first section of the line opened in May 1846; however, the atmospheric vacuum pipes had not been completed, and initially, a steam locomotive was used. The first atmospheric train ran in 1847; although only between Exeter and Teignmouth. Ultimately the railway suffered from defects, including the deterioration of the leather seals on the vacuum pipes. In 1848 the atmospheric system was abandoned and the line was converted to conventional steam locomotion.
In 1876 South Devon amalgamated with the Great Western Railway, and in 1884 the section of track between Teignmouth Old Quay and Smugglers Lane was doubled. In 1892 the line was converted from broad to standard gauge. Between 1902 and 1905 the section between Smugglers Lane and Dawlish Railway Station was also made into a double line.
Phillot Tunnel is one of a series of tunnels created between Dawlish and Teignmouth when
the South Devon Railway was opened in 1846. As part of works to widen the track in 1902-05,
Phillot Tunnel was lined in engineering brick and new east and west portals were built. In the
late C20 safety rails were installed above the east portal.
East Portal: Details
A railway tunnel portal of 1902-5, constructed by the Great Western Railway.
MATERIAL: constructed of engineering brick.
DESCRIPTION: a tunnel portal facing north with a flat segmental arch and return wingwall to the east. The seaward (east) side of the arch is sprung from a lower point than at the landward side. The parapet is stepped and has a simple cornice and coping. There are late-C20 safety handrails attached above the parapet.
West Portal: Details
A railway tunnel portal of 1902-5, constructed by the Great Western Railway.
MATERIAL: constructed of engineering brick.
DESCRIPTION: a tunnel portal facing south with a flat segmental arch and return wingwall to the east. The seaward (east) side of the arch is sprung from a lower point than at the landward side. The parapet is stepped and has a simple cornice and coping.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Phillot's Tunnel marked.


Historic England, 2018, Parsons Tunnel to Kennaway Tunnel (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV360677.

Notification of application for a Certificate of Immunity for structures and features on the railway line from Parsons Tunnel to Kennaway Tunnel, including sea walls, breakwaters and tunnel portals.


Historic England, 2018, Phillot East and West Tunnel Portals (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV361201.

Notification that following a recommendation from Historic England, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has decided not to list the Phillot East and West Tunnel Portals but is minded to issue a Certificate of Immunity from Listing (COI).
The portals to Phillot Tunnel do not belong to the first phase of the building of this railway line (and therefore are not shown on 1840s illustrations [by William Dawson]). They were complete rebuilds of the 1902-5 works to widen the railway. Therefore, they have little historic interest in terms of association with Brunel’s Atmospheric Railway, and have no other specific claims in this regard. Architecturally, they are plain designs constructed with standard materials with no specific features that mark them as representative of this railway line. The low springing
point of the arches on the seaward side does not complement the visual appearance of the portals as a whole and is likely to be the result of the requirement to accommodate a wider railway track within an earlier tunnel. To merit listing, railway tunnel portals would usually require a better-realised architectural treatment and be of earlier date. Many better examples survive elsewhere including the portals to Saltford Tunnel, Bath and North East Somerset (1836-40, Grade II). Furthermore, there are no other listed buildings nearby with which the portals may have formed a group. The Phillot Tunnel East and West Portals are relatively late in terms of listing and with no other design or historic interest, or group value, they do not meet the criteria and cannot be recommended for listing.
CONCLUSION
After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully considered the architectural and historic interest of this case, the criteria for listing are not fulfilled. A COI should therefore be issued.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
Phillot Tunnel East and West Portals are not recommended for listing for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest
* the structures are of little design interest and relatively late in date.
Historic interest
* they belong to a much later phase of works than Brunel’s Atmospheric Railway of the 1840s and have no other claims to historic interest.
Group value
* they do not form a group with any listed structures.
See report for further details.


Historic England, 2018, Phillot East and West Tunnel Portals (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV361223.

Confirmation that the tunnel portals have been issued with a Certificate of Immunity from listing for five years.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #79912 ]
SDV360677List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Historic England. 2018. Parsons Tunnel to Kennaway Tunnel. Notification of Application for a Certificate of Immunity. Digital.
SDV360708Monograph: Garnsworthy, P.. 2013. Brunel's Atmostpheric Railway. Brunel's Atmostpheric Railway. Paperback Volume. 50-51.
SDV360820List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Historic England. 2018. East and West Portals, Phillot Tunnel, Dawlish, Devon. Notification of Completion of Assessment. Digital.
SDV361201List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Historic England. 2018. Phillot East and West Tunnel Portals. Notification of Intention to Grant a Certificate of Immunity. Digital.
SDV361223List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Historic England. 2018. Phillot East and West Tunnel Portals. Notification of Certificate of Immunity. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:May 4 2018 9:18AM