Listing verified as genuine
Posted on 8th May 2019 / 785
Site Type : Preservation Hub / Campaign
Industry Type : Transport
Public or Private Site? : Unknown
Condition : Ruins and Remnants

Moretonhampstead Station is still there; well more or less. It is the terminus of a former branch line from Newton Abbot in Devon which connected the remote town on Dartmoor.

The terminus station seems to have been called Station Road and it was once hoped to continue the line to Chagford and Okehampton – very sensible ideals indeed.

The Moretonhampstead Railway was first authorised in July 1862 and opened on 4th July 1866. It was procured by the South Devon Railway company and consisted of a broad-gauge line, 20.11km long, running from Newton Abbot to the terminus at Moretonhampstead. Part of the route followed the former Haytor Tramway.

In 1877 the Great Western Railway Company purchased the line and in 1892 it was converted to a standard gauge (McCarthy and McCarthy 2008, 45).

Then with the madness of the Beeching Cuts, the line was axed and now they want to build houses on it – what a surprise!

Well, British Railways suspended the passenger service from Moretonhampstead in 1959; the closure of the Teign Valley line from Exeter the previous year dramatically reduced the numbers of passengers using the line (Grant 2017). Initially freight traffic to Moretonhampstead was retained until closure in 1964, then the track was lifted in 1965.

Part of the station complex was purchased by Thompsons in 1961, who expanded into the rest of the site in the later 1960s.

The industrial remains are significant – a 2018 archaeological asessment of the site by AC archaeology confirms this:

“The significance of the above-ground elements of the former railway is drawn from a number of heritage values. The goods shed has architectural value, which makesa strong contribution towards its significance. Although it has been altered andis now largely incorporated with later 20th-century warehouses, the function and use of the building in relation to the layout of the wider station can be discerned. It is set back from (and was not associated with) the platform of the main passenger lineandwas served by a siding that passed through the building. Openings in the side elevations for this siding survive. The large opening in the north elevation provided access for waggons and later vehicles. The building is constructed of stone, and forms part of the group of (surviving and demolished) early broad-gaugerailway buildings and structures (such as bridges) on this branch line. These had similar architectural features, and the design of the goods shed is identical to the goodsshed at the former Bovey Tracey Station.The use of local granitein, and the architectural detailing of,the goods shed gives it aesthetic value, although the building is not considered to have artistic value.”

(I think they are beautiful)

“The surviving above-ground structures date toboth the original station of 1866 and late 1940s expansion. As such they form part of the history of the station, and wider railway line that was one of a number of branch lines established in the later 19th-century around the fringes of Dartmoor, connectedtothe main routes. In a wider context the railway and station formspart of the national growth in railway traffic, in which passenger journeys grew from 8.4 million at the end of 1852 to 517 million at the end of 1876 (Kinchin-Smith 2014, 21). The railway is one element of Moretonhampstead’s history that historically sustained its economy (Dartmoor National Park Authority2017, 6). Some of the surviving elements such as the carriage and pedestrian entrances, along with the overall shape of the Thompsons Yard,reflect changes to the pre-existing landscapeto create the station terminus. All illustrate aspects of the layout and functions of the overall station.”

Full report – HERE!

“Communal values are often closely associated with the historical value of an asset, and in this respect the local value of the former station is recognised by the Dartmoor National Park Authority in proposal MTN2 of their Development Management and Delivery Development Plan Document, July 2013 (see Section 2.9 above). In a more general context, former railways and associated components, including the Moretonhampstead and South Devon Rail, hold an interest for many individuals and groups. These are sometimes for their historic or architectural value as remnants of local histories and the wider heritage of British railways, but may be for other reasons such as a desire to reopen a former line.”

Sadly, the commissioned report then goes on to say that despite all this, it has low historical significance. Could this be because the developer holds the whip and we only like to preserve the last of each thing – then we can lament the days when our countryside was characterised by so many……….soon all we will have is residential developments called Station Road and Brunel Way.

So what can we do?  Please lodge your opinons with the authorities. This is about the number of voices, even if one speaks reason, we need hundreds in unison.

Industial Heritage Lovers – Unite!

  1. Go to the Dartmoor National Park Planning Portal
  2. Search for Application – 0139/19
  3. View the documents and add your comment online
  4. Tell your friends

 

Thank you Friends

Mortifying Plans for Moretonhampstead Station

Moretonhampstead Station is still there; well more or less. It is the terminus of a former branch line from Newton Abbot in Devon which connected the remote town on Dartmoor.

The terminus station seems to have been called Station Road and it was once hoped to continue the line to Chagford and Okehampton – very sensible ideals indeed.

The Moretonhampstead Railway was first authorised in July 1862 and opened on 4th July 1866. It was procured by the South Devon Railway company and consisted of a broad-gauge line, 20.11km long, running from Newton Abbot to the terminus at Moretonhampstead. Part of the route followed the former Haytor Tramway.

In 1877 the Great Western Railway Company purchased the line and in 1892 it was converted to a standard gauge (McCarthy and McCarthy 2008, 45).

Then with the madness of the Beeching Cuts, the line was axed and now they want to build houses on it – what a surprise!

Well, British Railways suspended the passenger service from Moretonhampstead in 1959; the closure of the Teign Valley line from Exeter the previous year dramatically reduced the numbers of passengers using the line (Grant 2017). Initially freight traffic to Moretonhampstead was retained until closure in 1964, then the track was lifted in 1965.

Part of the station complex was purchased by Thompsons in 1961, who expanded into the rest of the site in the later 1960s.

The industrial remains are significant – a 2018 archaeological asessment of the site by AC archaeology confirms this:

“The significance of the above-ground elements of the former railway is drawn from a number of heritage values. The goods shed has architectural value, which makesa strong contribution towards its significance. Although it has been altered andis now largely incorporated with later 20th-century warehouses, the function and use of the building in relation to the layout of the wider station can be discerned. It is set back from (and was not associated with) the platform of the main passenger lineandwas served by a siding that passed through the building. Openings in the side elevations for this siding survive. The large opening in the north elevation provided access for waggons and later vehicles. The building is constructed of stone, and forms part of the group of (surviving and demolished) early broad-gaugerailway buildings and structures (such as bridges) on this branch line. These had similar architectural features, and the design of the goods shed is identical to the goodsshed at the former Bovey Tracey Station.The use of local granitein, and the architectural detailing of,the goods shed gives it aesthetic value, although the building is not considered to have artistic value.”

(I think they are beautiful)

“The surviving above-ground structures date toboth the original station of 1866 and late 1940s expansion. As such they form part of the history of the station, and wider railway line that was one of a number of branch lines established in the later 19th-century around the fringes of Dartmoor, connectedtothe main routes. In a wider context the railway and station formspart of the national growth in railway traffic, in which passenger journeys grew from 8.4 million at the end of 1852 to 517 million at the end of 1876 (Kinchin-Smith 2014, 21). The railway is one element of Moretonhampstead’s history that historically sustained its economy (Dartmoor National Park Authority2017, 6). Some of the surviving elements such as the carriage and pedestrian entrances, along with the overall shape of the Thompsons Yard,reflect changes to the pre-existing landscapeto create the station terminus. All illustrate aspects of the layout and functions of the overall station.”

Full report – HERE!

“Communal values are often closely associated with the historical value of an asset, and in this respect the local value of the former station is recognised by the Dartmoor National Park Authority in proposal MTN2 of their Development Management and Delivery Development Plan Document, July 2013 (see Section 2.9 above). In a more general context, former railways and associated components, including the Moretonhampstead and South Devon Rail, hold an interest for many individuals and groups. These are sometimes for their historic or architectural value as remnants of local histories and the wider heritage of British railways, but may be for other reasons such as a desire to reopen a former line.”

Sadly, the commissioned report then goes on to say that despite all this, it has low historical significance. Could this be because the developer holds the whip and we only like to preserve the last of each thing – then we can lament the days when our countryside was characterised by so many……….soon all we will have is residential developments called Station Road and Brunel Way.

So what can we do?  Please lodge your opinons with the authorities. This is about the number of voices, even if one speaks reason, we need hundreds in unison.

Industial Heritage Lovers – Unite!

  1. Go to the Dartmoor National Park Planning Portal
  2. Search for Application – 0139/19
  3. View the documents and add your comment online
  4. Tell your friends

 

Thank you Friends

Mortifying Plans for Moretonhampstead Station
Site Type : Preservation Hub / Campaign
Industry Type : Transport
Public or Private Site? : Unknown
Condition : Ruins and Remnants
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