Denbigh Hall railway station

Denbigh Hall railway station was a temporary terminus station on the London and Birmingham Railway in the Denbigh area of what is now Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. It was situated about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Bletchley railway station, near a point where the railway crossed Watling Street. It was open for less than six months, between April and September 1838.

Denbigh Hall
A contemporary engraving of the Denbigh Hall railway bridge, near the site of the temporary station, with the same view taken in 2013 for comparison.
General information
LocationMilton Keynes
Coordinates52°00′36″N 0°44′38″W / 52.010°N 0.744°W / 52.010; -0.744
Grid referenceSP861354
Other information
Original companyLondon and Birmingham Railway
Key dates
9 April 1838 (1838-04-09)Opened
17 September 1838 (1838-09-17)Closed

History edit

The route of the London and Birmingham Railway was designed and engineered by Robert Stephenson. Two of the major civil engineering projects on the line were the six-span, 18 metres (59 ft) high Wolverton viaduct over the river Great Ouse,[1] and the 1 mile 656 yards (2.209 km) long Kilsby Tunnel near Rugby.[2] Work on this tunnel was prolonged, due to the builders unexpectedly encountering quicksand, and the route was not ready for the scheduled opening of the railway on 9 April 1838.[3][a] As a temporary measure, Denbigh Hall station was built near the point where the line crossed Watling Street, allowing passengers to transfer to stage-coaches to continue their journey to Rugby station,[b] also near Watling Street, a distance of approximately 37 miles (60 km).[6] Denbigh Hall station was named after a nearby inn on Watling Street, dating from 1710.[7] The bridge over Watling Street still survives, but has been extended as the railway has widened.

The station closed with the opening of Kilsby Tunnel on 17 September 1838,[8][9] though the line still exists, forming part of the West Coast Main Line from London to Glasgow. The chord with the (much later) line from Oxford (via the Bletchley Flyover) joins the main line nearby and bears the name "Denbigh Hall Junction".[10]

Due to the temporary nature of the station, no images of it or records of its layout are known to exist, but a contemporary engraving by George Dodgson Callow and William Radclyffe shows a train on the bridge in its immediate vicinity.[11]

Commemoration edit

Inscription on Denbigh Hall bridge

In 1920, Herbert Leon, 1st baronet of the nearby Bletchley Park, commissioned a plaque on the bridge to commemorate the station.[12] The plaque reads:

Prior to September 1838 the southern part of this railway terminated at this bridge whence passengers were conveyed by coach to Rugby where they rejoined the railway for Birmingham. Inscribed by Sir Herbert Leon Bart and Lady Leon of Bletchley Park Bucks. By permission of the L&NW Railway Company August 1920.[13]

Service summary edit

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Line and station open
  London and Birmingham Railway   Rugby
By stagecoach

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Some sources state a date of 9 April 1836, however this is almost certainly incorrect.
  2. ^ This was not the modern station at Rugby, but another temporary station, lasting between 1838 and 1840, north-west of the current location.[4][5]
  3. ^ Now called Leighton Buzzard. Bletchley did not open until after Denbigh Hall had closed.

References edit

  1. ^ Geoffrey Ealden; Anna McEvoy; Julia Newman; Andra Roach; Peter Smith. "Wolverton: From Aqueduct to Viaduct". Wolverton Society for Arts and Heritage and Milton Keynes Heritage Association. Retrieved 7 December 2007.
  2. ^ Yonge, page 10
  3. ^ "Kilsby Tunnel". Spartacus Educational. Archived from the original on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  4. ^ Butt, page 201
  5. ^ Dewick, page 10
  6. ^ "Denbigh Hall Bridge, Bletchley". Our Transport Heritage. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Milton Keynes Heritage" (map) - English Partnerships 2004
  8. ^ Butt, page 77
  9. ^ "London and Birmingham". Spartacus Educational. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  10. ^ Yonge, page 9
  11. ^ Roscoe, facing page 76
  12. ^ "Bletchley: Introduction". Living Archive. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  13. ^ Hughes, Les (27 November 2003). Henry Mundy: A Young Australian Pioneer. Next Century Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0954401122. Retrieved 24 February 2013.

Bibliography edit