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Derby Friargate railway station was the main station in Derby on the Great Northern Railway Derbyshire Extension popularly known as the (Derby) Friargate Line.

Derby Friargate
Derby Friargate Station.jpg
Platform remains in 1974
AreaCity of Derby
Original companyGreat Northern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
1 April 1878[1]Opened as Derby
December 1881Renamed Derby Friargate
7 September 1964Closed to passengers
4 September 1967[2]Goods facilities withdrawn
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain


It opened on 1 April 1878.[1]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Derby Racecourse   London Midland Region of British Railways
(Derby) Friargate Line

Present dayEdit

Friargate BridgeEdit

Friar Gate Bridge MS Live Map Aerial view

Today little remains of the station except Andrew Handyside & Co's bridge over Friargate, although the remaining arches attached to the south side of the bridge on the right side reveal a boarded-up arch, the inside of which contains the original staircase to the central island platforms. Now vanished is the canopy that provided passenger access to the station, which was directly adjacent to the boarded-up arch. It is now impossible to access this from below or from the boarded-up recess where the staircase ascended to the platforms.

Station siteEdit

Friar Gate Station remains can be found under the trees and scrub to the right. The arrow shows the old track bed over the bridge. The houses on Friar Gate can just be seen beyond the trees.

It is possible to walk the old station site and to inspect Handyside's bridge, although the crossing has been fenced off for safety reasons. The old route of the line was towards Mickleover over a steeped bridge taking the line under Uttoxeter Old Road. The main line and sidings are now an industrial estate.

The Great Northern Railway Goods Wharf, viewed from Friar Gate, is a Grade II listed building, though derelict, plans still exist to turn this into apartments. As the building is listed it is protected from demolition.

From here the route approaches the site now occupied by Sainsbury's and there are still some signs of the existence of the old railway, such as a disused bridge over where the line once stood. Further along and a bridge carrying the old Kingsway part of Derby outer ring road can be observed, although today it only carries a little-used pavement.

Next the line crosses the line of the A38 and climbs through a deep cutting to a summit at Mickleover tunnel. Neither end of the 464-yard tunnel is visible, having been hidden beneath spoil since 1982. For further information about the route of the line and its history see Great Northern Railway's Derbyshire Extension.

Friargate Bridge restorationEdit

In late 2007 many members of the public and people with local businesses near Friargate railway bridge have noticed the poor state of maintenance of the bridge. Several letters appeared in the local paper about this issue.[citation needed] An online petition was set up for people to show their support for getting the council to restore the bridge. The bridge was sold by British Rail to Derby City Council for a pound in the 1960s. The transaction was carried out on the promise that the bridge should be maintained in good condition in perpetuity.[3]

Memories of Friargate StationEdit

Published in 1998, the book Memories of Friargate Station by local author Susan Bourne chronicles the station from its early days until its demolition. It also looks at the people who worked there.[4]

Station MastersEdit

  • Alfred Mason 1880 - 1882[5]
  • William Goodship 1882 - 1884[6] (afterwards station master at Leicester)
  • Stephen James Sanders 1884 - 1888
  • W. M. De-Ville 1889[7] - 1905
  • F. Worman 1905 - 1922
  • John Frederick Drury ???? - 1932[8]
  • S. Marsden ca. 1934
  • Oswald Walker
  • Sidney Harold Woodward ???? - 1962

"Underneath the Arches"Edit

The Flanagan and Allen song "Underneath the Arches" may have been influenced by the arches around the bridge.[9] According to a TV programme broadcast in 1957, Bud Flanagan said that he wrote the song in Derby in 1927, and first performed it a week later at the Pier Pavilion, Southport.[10]



  1. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 78. ISBN 1-85260-508-1.
  2. ^ Clinker, C.R. (October 1978). Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977. Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services. p. 38. ISBN 0-905466-19-5.
  3. ^ The Free (Derby) magazine, issue 1, October 2012
  4. ^ Bourne, Susan (1998). Memories of Friargate Station. Breedon Books. ISBN 978-1859831168.
  5. ^ "New Station-Master at Newark". Nottingham Evening Post. England. 30 May 1882. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "G.N. Railway". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 28 February 1884. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "The Railway Traffic". Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal. England. 28 December 1888. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Stationmaster's 45 years' service". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 29 January 1932. Retrieved 16 April 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "On Top of Friar Gate Bridge". BBC Derby. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  10. ^ Together Again. ITV. 19 April 1957. Retrieved 20 September 2013.


Coordinates: 52°55′25″N 1°29′10″W / 52.9235°N 1.4862°W / 52.9235; -1.4862