Large ItalianateÂ station that served three railway companies
Period of construction:
1800 - 1849
Transport Trust plaque:
Station Road, Chester CH1 3NS
Chester General Station was a joint station between the Chester and Holyhead Railway, the Chester and Crewe Railway and the Birkenhead Railway. Later these became the London and North Western Railway and the Great Western Railway (GWR). The joint station dates from 1848, replacing at least 2 earlier termini of the railway companies concerned
The station has an elegant Italianate frontage designed by Francis Thompson, the architect of the Chester & Holyhead Railway (see also entry for Holywell Junction) which became part of the LNWR. The station is very wide as it was designed for one single long platformwith bays, similar to Cambridge, Reading and others at that time.
The facade is in dark red brick with stone dressings. At either end are taller blocks each with two turrets.The station also has carved wooden owls at some strategic locations high in the roof beams to help deter feral pigeons.Pevsner described it as 'one of the most splendid of the early railway stations'.
In 1972, the Chester General rail crash occurred in the station, causing severe damage to the building and the several trains involved. In 1993 Chester became the terminus of one of the four Wirral Line branches of the Merseyrail rapid-transit urban rail network, using third rail electrification. This gave rapid access to the Wirral accessing underground stations in central Liverpool and Birkenhead. The historic Chester and Birkenhead Railway, the first railway to serve Chester, is now a branch of Merseyrail's Wirral Line.
The station is Listed Grade II*. (See also entry for Audley End Station).
Barman, Christian, An Introduction to Railway Architecture, Art & Technics, (1950)
Holt, Geoffrey. A Regional History of the Railways of Britain, North West. ISBN 0 7153 7521 0 (1978)
Lloyd, David and Insall, Donald, Railway Station Architecture, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 7575 X (1978)
Permanently viewable. Opening times vary - visit websiteÂ or ring 0845 6061 660
How To Find:
By Road: Off A56 on Station Road
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