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Thomas Prosser (c. 1817–1888) was the company architect of the North Eastern Railway Company, the first to hold the position.[1]

Thomas Prosser
Bornc. 1817
Died2 March 1888
Hardwicke Place, Gateshead
Parent(s)Thomas Prosser (Father)
PracticeNorth East Railway Company
BuildingsYork Railway Station
ProjectsNewcastle Central Station


Early lifeEdit

Thomas Prosser spent his early years at Wynyard Park. It was here that his father, also Thomas, had been commissioned as architect in the rebuilding of Wynyard Park.[1]


Prosser began his training in the office of architect Ignatius Bonomi (1787-1870) in Durham. It was Bonomi who was one of the designers of the Skerne Railway Bridge for the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The bridge is one of the oldest railway bridges in the world and the oldest still in use.[2]

The portico of Newcastle Central Station

Prosser then went to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to work at the firm of John Dobson at the Newcastle Central Station project. It was Prosser who did some of the preparatory architectural drawings before going on to become the clerk of works. It was Prosser who drew up the plans for the station portico as a revision to the original design.[3]

York Railway Station is another of Prosser's major works, with the train-shed regarded as ‘one of the great cathedrals of the Railway Age’.[4] Prosser worked on the station in partnership with engineer Thomas Elliot Harrison.[5]

A plaque commemorating the restoration work at York Railway Station in 2004. It notes the work of Thomas Prosser and Thomas Elliott Harrison as architects.
The Grade II listed signal box at Shildon, believe to have been designed by Thomas Prosser.

Suffering with ill heath Prosser retired in May 1874.[1]

I ought perhaps to have taken this step sooner but I have hoped from day to day to recover so as to perform satisfactorily the duties to which I am so much attached.

— Thomas Prosser – Letter of Resignation [1]

In recognition of his service the railway company granted Prosser a £300 a year allowance. These payments ran until June 1884 when they were transferred to his brother Robert, whom he was living with after his condition worsened.[1]

Thomas Prosser died at his brothers home at Hardwicke Place, Gateshead on March 2, 1888. He never married.[1][6]

Other notable worksEdit

This is particularly interesting as part of the history of immigration to the United States of America. The Hull facility was for the exclusive use by immigrants heading to America from north west Europe. They would sail to Hull and from there by train to Liverpool where they would sail for America. For reasons of health amongst others immigrants were kept separate from other travellers. The station had waiting facilities where immigrants could meet their ticket agents, wash and use the toilet as well as take shelter from the weather. It is estimated that 2.2. million people (mainly from Scandinavia and the Baltic) passed through here between 1836 and 1914.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Thomas Prosser". Railway Architecture of North East England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Skerne Railway Bridge, 320m south east of Darlington Railway Museum (1002331)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Newcastle Central Station in anniversary spotlight with new exhibition and book". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Fabulous food, drink and stuff to do near York Station". Virgin Trains East Coast. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  5. ^ "York Railway Station, Thomas Prosser, and Thomas Elliot Harrison blue plaque in York". Blue Plaque Places. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  6. ^ "obituary for Thomas Prosser, architect, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, d. 1888". The Building News. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Former Sculcoates Goods Station (1219995)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  8. ^ Historic England. "North York Moors Railway Goathland Station (1295785)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b Historic England. "Former Immigrant Station and Railway Platform (1207714)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Hexham Railway Station (1370815)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  11. ^ Historic England. "Royal York Hotel and Area Railings Attached at Side and Rear (1256559)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  12. ^ Historic England. "Royal Station Hotel (1104900)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 January 2018.