Forgotten Railways #1

A new series looking at disused railway lines, their history and possibilities for the future.

Some of these railways have just been left abandoned, whilst others have become something else! We are going to kick things off with:

Bath Green Park Station: Opened in 1870 Closed in 1966

I recently travelled to Bath, and went past the area this railway line used to exist. The station buildings were designed by Midland Railway architect John Holloway. The structure included a vaulted glass roof, parts of which were damaged during bombing raids in April 1942. This is a Grade ll Listed Building.

William O’Neill, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In terms of size, this was not an expansive station. It contained an arrival platform and a departure platform with two sidings between,

After closure, (goods trains still ran up to 1971 after passenger runs ended in ’66) the track area was used as a public car park, up to the early 1980’s. Further into the 80’s the area approaching the station rail was redeveloped as a major supermarket (haven’t been able to find out which one if anyone knows!). The station itself became a pedestrian passageway to and from the city and a few small shops could be found within the station buildings.

Now, if we fast-forward quite a bit after it was run for many years by a local sustainability enterprise called Envolve Partnership, The Ethical Property Company took over in November 2008 and is now in charge of activity on and around the site (including a Sainsbury’s supermarket, which I wonder was what was opened in the ’80s).

Ethical Property, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Part of the station is used for a covered market and also as an events space. Events include performances by the Bath Fringe Festival talents. Since 2019 the upstairs function rooms have been used for a Sunday evening Church service led by Bath Vineyard Church. Various local charities and social businesses have taken space on the station’s lower floor.

The station remains in good condition, although the roof has needed work for a long time. Since the beginning of 2021 parts of the station have been cordoned off so that work can take place on the roof, with a scheduled finish date for Summer 2022 (I believe it had not been finished when I visited just before this time). As bad luck would have it, in April 2023 the station was damaged by a fire when one of the wooden sheds of a local business spread to the roof. I haven’t yet been back since but I am hoping this has now been repaired and that the roof can now catch a break!

The station is well worth a visit if you are interested in visiting stations, and also for the regular events that take place as well the local business and charity stalls. There are plenty of historic sights to see and some great entertainment, not to mention food and drink to discover.

#railwaylines #forgottenrailwaylines #stuffhereprojects #visitbath


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