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Keswick Station
off Brundholme Road, Keswick, Cumbria, UK
associated engineer
Sir Thomas Bouch
date  1863 - January 1865
era  Victorian  |  category  Building  |  reference  NY269237
Keswick Station was chosen in 1862 by the Stations Committee of the Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway to accommodate the company’s offices, being midway along the railway's route. The station was built on land bought from General le Fleming, and was designed by Thomas Bouch, creator of many of the railway's bridges.
The station is located about 0.5km north of the town centre, and is aligned from west to east, with the down (westbound) platform on the south side.
George Bolton & Son's tender of £3,500 for building the station was accepted. In November 1863, the Works Committee approved the construction of an engine shed, a carriage shed for six carriages, and a turntable. A portico was added to the design before construction began.
The down platform had a two-storey building of local stone. The upper storey housed the boardroom and offices for the secretary, traffic manager and accountant. The lower storey had the ticket office, left luggage, parcels office, lavatories and waiting rooms. The waiting rooms opened onto the platform, which was covered by a glazed roof with a cantilevered valance supported on iron columns. The up (eastbound) island platform had only a waiting shelter and a large rectangular water tank. A goods station was situated to the west of the passenger station.
In 1873, a subway was built to link the two platforms and a year later a crane was added to the east end of the up platform.
The refreshments room opened in 1865, but clearly there were problems as it had closed by April 1875 and the space was re-used for a first class gentlemen's waiting room and lavatory.
Then the water tank on the up platform was enlarged by Cowans Sheldon & Company of Carlisle in 1880. By 1893, the island platform had been moved northwards and a timber single-storey building was built. It had brick chimneys for the waiting room fires, and was covered by a slated roof with cantilevered valances supported by iron columns.
W.H. Smith & Son opened a bookstall on the station in around 1870, which they ran until 1905. Between 1909 and 1921, Wyman & Sons managed the bookstall, and then a local stationer called A. Chaplin took over until around 1931. Thereafter, Wymans again assumed control of the bookstalls on both platforms until the 1950s.
John Latimer, the first appointed Station Master at Keswick, was dismissed in late 1864 for being on the platform drunk, but he appealed and seems to have been re-instated.
Following closure of the line in March 1972, the island platform, its building and the water tank were demolished. The land was re-used as an open-air car park for a nearby hotel. The building on the westbound platform is now part of the hotel.
A railway trail, owned by the Lake District National Park Authority, commences at Keswick Station and crosses several bridges in a 5km gentle climb up to the Mining Museum east of Threlkeld Public Car Park.
Resident engineer: John Wood
Main contractor: George Bolton & Son, Penrith
Research: PD
bibliography
"The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway" by Robert Western
The Oakwood Press, Usk, 2007
"Rails through Lakeland" by Harold D. Bowtell
Silver Link Publishing Ltd, At. Michael's on Wyre, 1989
www.cpkr.fsnet.co.uk
Location

Keswick Station